The Munttoren, “mint tower” in Dutch, is located on busy Muntplein Square in Amsterdam, where the Amstel River and the Singel Canal meet. Built in 1487 as part of Regulierspoort, one of the main gates in Amsterdam's medieval city wall, Munttoren was mainly used to mint coins until it burned down in 1618.
The tower was rebuilt in the Amsterdam Renaissance style in 1620, with an octagonal-shaped top half and an open spire designed by the celebrated Dutch architect Hendrick de Keyser. The original guardhouse, which had survived the fire, was almost entirely replaced with a neo-Renaissance-style building in the late 19th century. The 1668 carillon was not replaced, however, and its 38 bells chime every 15 minutes to this day.
You can see the Munttoren, along with other Amsterdam landmarks such as the Anne Frank House and the Rembrandt House Museum, on a walking or canal tour of the city.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Munttoren is must-see for history and architecture enthusiasts.
- The tower is not open to the public for visits but can be enjoyed from many different viewpoints along the surrounding canals.
- Munttoren is one of the five towers in Amsterdam that hold carillons made by the brothers Francois and Pieter Hemony.
- Scale models of the tower are exhibited at Madurodam in the Hague and at Mini-Europe in Brussels.
How to Get There
Thanks to its central location on Muntplein, Munttoren is easily accessible on foot or by public transit, including trams (lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 14, 16, and 24) and buses (number 363). The tower is close to De Wallen and Jordaan, making it easy to visit as part of a day’s sightseeing.
When to Get There
You can visit Munttoren any time of day and week, but the best time to be there is between 2 and 3pm on Saturdays, when a carillonneur employed by the city of Amsterdam gives a live concert.
The Munttoren was renovated after burning in the 17th century and then again around 1961. Munttoren carillonneur (and cinema organist) Bernard Drukker, who played the Munttoren’s bells weekly, made a recording of the carillon accompanied by the City Theatre Orchestra. Philips Records released the EP in 1960 with the name “It’s in the Air.”