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The behemoth building plonked in the middle of Amsterdam’s focal Dam Square is the official residence of the reigning Dutch House of Orange , although these days the Royal Family prefers to reside in The Hague. This palace was originally designed by Jacob van Campen in 1655 as the City Hall and has a solid, neoclassical facade. It was repurposed into a royal palace by Louis Bonaparte, brother of the better-known Napoleon, when he was crowned king of Holland in 1806, and its public rooms are now open to view. The interior is crammed with early-19th-century furniture, chandeliers, sculptures, and vast oil paintings reflecting Amsterdam’s wealth during the Golden Age in the 17th century. Highlights include the highly ornate Council Chamber, and the high-ceilinged Burgerzaal (Council Chamber), where maps inlaid on the marble floors place Amsterdam at the center of the world. The palace is closed to visitors during periods of royal residence and state receptions.