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The Munttoren ("Mint Tower") or Munt is a tower in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It stands on the busy Muntplein square, near the flower market and the start of the Kalverstraat shopping street, where the Amstel river and the Singel canal meet.

The tower was originally part of the Regulierspoort, one of the main gates in Amsterdam's medieval city wall. The gate, built in the years 1480-1487, consisted of two towers and a guard house.
After the gate went up in flames in a 1618 fire, only the guard house and part of the western tower remained standing. The tower was then rebuilt in Amsterdam Renaissance style in 1619-1620, with an eight-sided top half and elegant open spire designed by Hendrick de Keyser, featuring a clockwork with four clockfaces and a carillon of bells.
The carillon was made in 1668 by Pieter Hemony, who added new bells to the instrument that he and his brother François had made earlier for the tower of the Amsterdam stock exchange in 1651. In 1873, the original baton keyboard was removed from the carillon, in favor of changes to the clockwork mechanism. In 1960 a manual playing system and a manual baton keyboard was re-installed. Some of the original smaller Hemony bells have been damaged over the years and have been replaced by new bells in 1959 and 1993. The original smaller Hemony bells are now on display in the Amsterdam Historical Museum. The current carillon consists of 38 bells (2 more than the original carillon had). A mechanism causes the bells to chime every quarter of an hour. On Saturdays, between 2 and 3 p.m., Gideon Bodden, the Amsterdam city carillonneur gives a live concert on the bells.

The name of the tower refers to the fact that it was used to mint coins in the 17th Century. In the Rampjaar ("disastrous year") of 1672, when both England and France declared war on the Dutch Republic and French troops occupied much of the country, silver and gold could no longer be safely transported to Dordrecht and Enkhuizen (where coins were normally minted), so the guard house of the Munttoren was temporarily used to mint coin.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The city, which had a population of 747,290 on 1 January 2008, comprises the northern part of the Randstad, the 6th-largest metropolitan area in Europe, with a population of around 6.7 million.
Its name is derived from Amstel dam,indicative of the city's origin: a dam in the river Amstel where the Dam Square is today. Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were formed. (Source: Amsterdam.info & wikipedia)

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Viewed: 2013
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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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