Amsterdam Herengracht
Old 'Herenpand' building, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Image: Michielverbeek, Wikimedia.

Amsterdam is giving away pieces of its architectural heritage

Amsterdam city council is giving away a collection of hundreds of ornamental building parts, on the condition the new owners use them to bring back some of the glory of the old city.

The ornaments, which include bunches of grapes, chiselled dates and sayings, and gables with flowers and leaves, were salvaged when the original medieval and 17th century buildings were demolished to make way for new housing and public transport infrastructure over the past decades.

Potential new owners are welcome to pick up the ornaments, which are kept at a secret location, but only if they use them ‘for the good of the city’. That means incorporating them in an existing gable or using them in newly-built homes.