Experience the uniquely-styled rooms of the Cat Cabinet and look at the collection up close in this virtual tour.
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Standing in the "Golden Bend" of the Herengracht and facing the Cat Cabinet it's almost impossible to imagine that the two houses numbered 497 and 499 were ever identical. These two buildings were built in 1667 for brothers Willem and Adriaen van Loon. By drawing lots it was decided that Willem would get 497 and Adriaen 499. The house remained in the hands of the family until 1725. What then followed was an impressive list of inhabitants. Jan Calkoen lived there when he was mayor of Amsterdam, and the American president John Adams stayed there when he came to visit Engelbert van Berckel. Until 1837 the building held onto its original 17th-century look. Then, as with many other canal houses, the stairway was removed and the entrance moved to the ground floor.
In 1885 merchant and banker Pieter van Eeghen bought the building. Under his ownership the frames were replaced and the T-windows that dominate the current look were installed. The house remained the property of the van Eeghen family until 1985, when it was bought by the Stichting Herengracht 497. It was fully restored and re-designed as The Cat Cabinet. The museum itself is located on the impressive, classically-furnished piano nobile. It contains several rooms. The Ball Room, with its wall appliques and ceiling paintings of the City Virgin, dates from around 1750-1770; the Music Room, with beautiful ceiling paintings, from 1870; the Mechelen Room from 1886, still in its preserved, original state; and a library.