The Waag ("weigh house") is a 15th-century building in Amsterdam (Nieuwmarkt square). It was originally a city gate and part of the walls of Amsterdam1. During its long history, the building served as the surgeons' guildhall, with its anatomical theatre, and, during the 19th century, as an office of the Cholera commission.


"Masons and surgeons played a major role in the building's history. The masons undertook most of the embellishments inside and outside the building. They build the staircase and the hearth, chiselled the windowpanes, and put up the ornaments on the towers. The surgeons however were responsible for the biggest modifications in the building's structure. A large and well-appointed lecture-hall was required to function as "Theatrum Anatomicum". Hence, the surgeons had an octagonal cupola tower erected in the middle of the building, transforming the lecture-hall in an amphitheatre. The transformation was completed in 1691. Between 1731 and 1789 the healers-gentlemen had no less than 87 coats of arms painted in the higher reaches of the cupola. The attributes in these coats-of-arms often indicate that surgeons had a background in the barbers trade but had seen earning opportunities in the pulling of teeth"2.

  • Photos by Marianna Cerro moc.liamg|orrec.annairam#| (October 2016)

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License