POINTS OF INTEREST
As family home to the two Trip brothers, who made their fortune during the 17th-century Golden Age, this noted house's buckshot-gray exterior and various armament motifs—including mortar-shaped chimneys—designed by Justus Vingboons, are easily explained. But the Corinthian-columned facade actually covers two symmetrical buildings (the dividing wall is positioned behind the middle windows), one for each brother, making it the widest residence (at 22 meters) in Amsterdam. From 1815 to 1885 it housed the national museum or Rijksmuseum and is now the home of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences). Be sure to look across the canal to No. 26, the door-wide white building topped with golden sphinxes and the date of 1696, which is known as the "Little Trip House" or "House of Mr. Trip's Coachman." The story goes that the coachman remarked that he would be happy with a house as wide as the Trippenhuis door. By way of response, Mr. Trip built just that with the leftover bricks. There are a few other very narrow houses in Amsterdam, too: the narrowest rear gable is at Singel 7 at only 1 meter wide, and the building on Oude Hoogstraat 22 is only 2.02 meters (7 feet) wide and 6 meters (19 feet) deep.