For more than 375 years
on the Amstel river
It was 1647 when the wooden farmhouse from 1594 was demolished and one of the first buildings in the so-called “Buurt Over Ouderkerk” here on the Amstel was put into use as a tavern under the name ‘Paardenburg’. In 1693 the building was bought by Pieter Meffert who had big plans for it. Due to the increasingly busy transport by carriage, cart, ship and horse along the Amstel, he aimed for the further development of this location. A bull’s-eye, as it turns out. In 1702 he was able to have this current stone building built and gave it the official function of an “Inn”. It was the beginning of the rich history of one of the Netherlands’ most beautiful and famous catering companies, where many more operators would follow over the centuries.
In addition to passing travelers, Paardenburg was also a popular place for dignitaries and local club life. The Middenpolder board met here regularly at the end of the 19th century. Not surprising since one of the board members owned the building that he had purchased in 1846 for an amount of 3,800 guilders. We also know that the Dutch Agricultural Society met here in 1855, the minutes and accounts of this meeting can be found in the city archives. 5 years later, this company organized a harness racing event here on the Amstel side, with a festive conclusion in Paardenburg. It became an annual event that traditionally even ended with fireworks! At that time, Paardenburg also served as a stage for political unrest during official meetings that took place indoors. Opponents gathered outside in protest against, for example, the annexation of a number of territories near Ouderkerk.
A lot has recently been invested in parking facilities around Paardenburg for the large number of guests, but these facilities were also mentioned in deeds from 1801. This shows that the adjacent coach house (current India Port restaurant) with stables could accommodate at least 18 horses, three carriages and the presence of a blacksmith. There was also a 2.5 hectare piece of land (the current parking lots) where guests of Paardenburg could graze and rest their horses. Many passing riders and coachmen had these wide ‘exchange horses’ ready so that they could immediately continue their journey with fresh horsepower after a short stop.
The building has undergone several transformations over the centuries. The many owners have continuously added, expanded and added to the property. For example, the ‘rear’ building was built against the ‘front’ in 1889. This also created the current restaurant area with the paintings that were painted in 1890 by Johan Coenraad Brakensiek especially for this room. Ten years later, the characteristic veranda was placed against the facade. This veranda was completely replaced in 1967 during a large-scale renovation. In the 1990s, the veranda was closed with window panels so that it could be used as a conservatory all year round. Today, the centuries-old clinker sidewalk over which the first veranda was originally built can still be seen in this conservatory.
Paardenburg has known prosperity and poverty over the centuries. One operator became very rich, the other went bankrupt. The menu ranges from chic French haute cuisine to a simple menu with bitterbalen and spare ribs. What has remained in all these years is the building, the Amstel, the meetings, the dinners, the name and the fame.
begin van de 21e eeuw is het restaurant uitgebreid op landelijke tv gekomen in de zesdelige serie ‘de Engel & Het Paard’ waarin Herman den Blijker het overnam en compleet verbouwde. Na twee jaar is het door hem van de hand gedaan aan de toenmalige HME groep met Ron Blaauw als culinair directeur.
After a major renovation, Paardenburg was reopened in early 2019 by new owner Gijs Numan. With a Parisian conservatory, an impressive bar and the restoration of the paintings to the original J.C. Braakensiekzaal, Paardenburg is ready for the future again. The cuisine is classic French with top quality brasserie dishes. Our team is close-knit and passionate and strives for the best every day. The wine list and cellar are one of the most extensive in the Netherlands, with a large number of classics from many top years.