Inaugural Stone

Artus Quellinus the Elder1648

Royal Palace Amsterdam

Royal Palace Amsterdam

The Maid of Amsterdam, personifying the city, stands on a black memorial stone tablet. On her head she wears the imperial crown of Maximilian. In one hand she holds the city’s coat of arms and in the other Mercury’s staff, the caduceus. Two lions are at her feet. The inscription on the stone tablet commemorates the Treaty of Münster, which brought an end to the Eighty Years’ War in 1648. At the foot of the tablet are two seated personifications of water: on the left the saltwater IJ, with a crown of ships, a fishing net and an anchor; on the right the River Amstel, with a wreath of aquatic plants, an oar and, by his hip, a beaver. As a dam-building animal, the beaver alludes to the dam in the River Amstel that gave the city its name.

Additional information:
The Maid of Amsterdam is wearing the imperial crown presented to the city by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian in 1489. The lions are guarding the Maid but also feature in the city’s coat of arms. Mercury’s caduceus is an allusion to peace and commerce, which in this city go hand in hand. The trade and commerce that developed after the Treaty of Münster in 1648 turned Amsterdam into an important and wealthy city.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Inaugural Stone
  • Creator: Artus Quellinus
  • Date Created: 1648
  • Display: Royal Palace Amsterdam
  • Type: Relief
  • Rights: © Stichting Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam. Photo: Wim Ruigrok.
  • Medium: Marble