The men who built "de Waag"
There are many stories to tell about the Waag. It is the oldest secular building in Amsterdam. It was built in 1488 as a city gate in the city wall that surrounded medieval Amsterdam. This function expired when Amsterdam expanded. While the city wall itself was demolished, the city gate was given a new function as a weighing house. Here the heavy commodities were weighed, such as anchors, cannons and bales of tobacco. Other spaces were made available to the guilds, who also left their mark on it. In future posts (and our tours) we will tell more about that.
But if you look a little closer, you will see all kinds of figures on the (original) outer gate. Here we see the original builders at work. The stonemasons and masons depict themselves on the corbels of the gate. With this heavy work they earned 6 pennies a day. Yet they still found the time and pleasure to picture themselves.