The long, rich history of this building, located in the centre of Amsterdam, starts in 1617. Until 1623 the ground floor was used as a meat market, with rooms above for the ‘De Schutterij’, who were watching over the safety of Amsterdam. The House owes its name to the period between 1623 and 1647, when the ‘Heren Negentien’ wielded the scepter over the Dutch West-India Trading Company (‘West Indische Compagnie’) from here. In the Compagnieszaal the decision was made to build the fort ‘New Amsterdam’ on the island of Manhattan.
The privateering of Spanish ships, executed by order of the West-Indische Compagnie, gathered in great loots in the same period. The biggest blow was the conquest of a fully loaded silver fleet by Admiral Piet Heijn. These treasures were stored in the basement of Het West-Indisch Huis, nowadays the ‘Piet Heijn kelder’.