Did you know that the Society of Surinam met at Amsterdam City Hall, the current Royal Palace on Dam Square? In those days Amsterdam co-owned Surinam, including the enslaved who lived there. Many Amsterdammers invested in the VOC, in the West India Company and in the plantations in Surinam and the Antilles. Where was this visible in the city? Much happened behind closed doors and much happened overseas, out of sight. But much can still be found today. The current residence of Amsterdam’s mayor on the Herengracht was once the home of slave trader Paulus Godin. And dozens of black women and men lived in the city. Like Lea Parijs, who came from Demerara as enslaved, was manumitted in the Netherlands, from then on a free woman, and baptized in the English church at the Begijnhof in 1802. This guide takes you to more than 100 sites. You’ll never look at the gables the same way.