Sonnenberg is located on the Herengracht, in the historic centre of Amsterdam. Surrounded by the famous nine-streets, this historic canal house was built in 1649 for the Sonnenberg family. It is one of the few houses that still boast its original gable, which is a classical renaissance crow-stepped gable; this is a stair-step type of design at the top of the triangular gable-end of a building.
Not only the gable is still original, the interior with its solid oak beams as well as the winding staircase are original. It is not hard to imagine this Dutch merchant family doing business from this very location. This family remained owners of this historic canal house well into the 19th century, and perhaps the heirs of these Sonnenberg’s are the same Sonnenberg’s as those who are among the ten richest families of the Netherlands.
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This apartment is located on two floors. Two flights of stairs are circular and one is a straight flight. One enters the Sonnenberg apartment on the beletage, after climbing a set of stone stairs of half a floor level. All floors have excellent views of the canals, and there is a bench on the porch as well as one on the canal side.
Behind the front door there is a hallway to the first set of circular stairs leading to a hallway on the first floor of the house. Practically every room in the house has its own adjustable radiators, it is quite easy to keep this house warm and comfortable in winter. As each room also has windows, it is quite easy to create a nice breeze in the house making it more comfortable in the summer (average temp around 22 C or 72 F). There are also fans available on the rare summer days that it is actually hot.
On the first floor there is a toilet in the hallway, and a door to the living/dining room. This floor has a beautiful wooden floor as well as beams supporting the floor above. In the front (canal side) of this floor there is a spacious living area with sofa’s (one is a sleeping sofa) and TV. This is a great area to relax after or before a day of exploring all the sights of Amsterdam. You will find an open kitchen and a large dining table in the back of the floor. The kitchen is fully equipped except for a dishwasher.
It is not hard to imagine enjoying a spending an evening with a good diner and equally good conversations at the dining table with dimmed light shining from the chandelier. With ample heating present, the smells from the kitchen and friends swapping stories at the table, this is typically what the Dutch will call “gezellig”. The word “gezellig” is considered to be an example of untranslatability, and is one of the hardest words to translate. Some consider the word to encompass the heart of Dutch culture.
One floor up with the circular staircase there is the floor with one bedroom (twins) in the front, with canal views and the master bedroom in the back (optional with twins, on request). On this floor located in between the two bedrooms is the bathroom, with a toilet, sink, and a bath with shower. The front bedroom has a carpeted floor and the back bedroom a wooden floor, the bathroom floor is marble.