Wednesday 29 June 2011


If you walk around Amsterdam, looking up at the roof line, You will see an interesting array of different styles to the gable ends.  They date back many years.  According to, the various styles can be classified as follows:
wooden houses (1200-1550)
houses with roll ornaments (1570-1600)
step-gables (1600-1665)
spout gables (1620-1720)
elevated neck gables (1640-1670)
neck gables (1640-1770)
bell gables (1660-1790)
elevated cornices (1700s)
'sobered' cornices (17th Century +)

I think the picture shows neck gables, bell gables, and elevated and straight cornices.  You can certainly see several hoist beams, used to lift the furniture up to the top of the house because stairways in these tall houses can be very narrow.

The two following cards I bought for myself the last time I was in Amsterdam.


  1. Hoist beams seem like a great idea. And, it must have been fun for kids to watch furniture being hoisted up the side of a house.

  2. There have been a few times when I've wished we had one!

  3. Elevated cornices. That would be my favorite era. I love the pictures of the canal. Looks like a traffic jam in one, though.

    So, how big are these houses? I've been fooled by your scale before with French pigeon houses, so I want to verify. Maybe you don't need a hoist thing. Maybe you can just hand it up if the houses aren't that tall.

  4. They're tall. I'd go so far as to say, they're very tall. You do need a hoist thing. :)

  5. But I would never walk around looking up at the roofline. I would be afraid of falling into a canal. :)


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