amsterdamguide 4The Waag (weigh house) used to be an entrance gate in the 15th C city wall, called St. Anthony’s gate. When the city expanded beyond the wall at the end of the 16th C, the wall was demolished and the gate became the weigh house. The building housed several guilds, such as the painter’s guild, the mason’s guild and the surgeon’s guild in the 17th C. Anatomical lessons took place in the building, like the one depicted by Rembrandt: the Anatomical lesson of Dr. Tulp. For these lessons, that took place during the winter months due to lack of refrigeration, the bodies of convicted criminals were used. At the beginning of the 19th C the building stopped being used as a weigh house. It then had many different purposes and housed for a while the Jewish historical museum. Nowadays there are offices and there is a restaurant.
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