Stadsbank van Lening (City Bank of Lending) – Amsterdam, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura

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Stadsbank van Lening (City Bank of Lending)

The facade of this bank has changed little over the centuries, including its unique welcome sign.  


Banks and pawnshops have been a staple of society for centuries. Nowhere is this more clear than at the city bank in the center of Amsterdam, where an office has been in continuous use since 1614. While the inside is modern, the outside remains true to 17th-century architecture, especially when looking at the text above the door. 

The text translates to: 

“Have you not money, nor goods, pass this door by. Have you the latter, and miss you the first, come to me. Give pawn, I give you money. Why should I support you? Or is it not enough that you live off me? But if you demand your pawn back, you must take care in time, that you repay my sum, with interest. Thus I help you and me, and show the auditors of my secrets, the grave of the forgotten loansharks.”

Despite the unwelcoming text, the city government does everything to help people get through their rough financial patches. 

Know Before You Go

The text is found above the door is written in old Dutch.

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January 21, 2022

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