The Concertgebouw crowned with a golden lyre and guarded by busts of Beethoven, Bach and Sweelinck, is a magnificent late 19th-century building.
Built on 2,186 piles the 'concert building' was completed in 1888 by architect Dolf van Gendt* and for well over a century it has been the centre of classical music in the Netherlands.
Each year the Concertgebouw organises some 900 concerts and other events in the Main Hall and the Recital Hall, for a public of over 700,000, making it one of the best visited concert halls in the world.
It hosts not only orchestral and operatic performances, but also jazz and world music. In the 1960s even groups such as Led Zeppelin, The Who and Pink Floyd performed here.
* Adolf Leonard (Dolf) van Gendt is the creator of many famous buildings, including the Hollandsche Manege, Frascati and De IJsbreker.
The Concertgebouw is the home base of the famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest).
Because of its highly regarded acoustics, the Concertgebouw is generally considered to be among the world's finest concert halls in the world.
Every Wednesday afternoon during the cultural season, from the beginning of September to the end of June, a free lunchtime concert is offered in the Concertgebouw at 12.30 p.m.
The concerts are 30 minutes long and are free of charge.
Free tickets (1 ticket per person) are available from the Entrance Hall, from 11:30 a.m. onward.