A few noble families existed among the Portuguese Jews. The family of banker Lopes Suasso acquired its title thanks to close relationships with the Spanish court. The Nunes da Costa family also bore a noble title. These families took up residence along the Nieuwe Herengracht (canal) in Amsterdam, among other places. They contributed to the economic prosperity of the city and to the coming about of a self-confident Jewish community.
Nieuwe Herengracht 47, 1936
Hiëronymus Nunes da Costa (1619-1697), also known as Mozes Curiël, trader in diamonds, sugar and tobacco resided at no. 47. He contributed to the construction of the Portuguese synagogue in the form of a major financial contribution. Nunes da Costa welcomed distinguished guests in his stately home. Stadtholder Willem III spent the night here on various occasions. The house was demolished around 1970 to make room for the construction of the underground and was rebuilt in detail later on.
Nieuwe Herengracht numbers 43-45 were demolished for construction of the metro.
A non-noble, yet known resident of the canal is the author and poet Isaäc da Costa (1798-1860). He spent his youth at no. 45. He was converted to the Reformed Church in 1822 and became a prominent member of the Reveil movement. His attempts to convert people within the Jewish community met with much unrest. After Da Costa, the building was occupied by virtually Jews alone, including the general practitioner Sem Premsela (1869-1936) and his son Meijer Jacob Premsela (1904-1971).
Number 47 was demolished around 1970 for construction of the metro, but later rebuilt.
Stedelijk Museum (municipal museum)
Esquire Augustus Lopes Suasso (1804-1877) and his wife Sophia de Bruijn (1816-1890) were art collectors who loved to travel. They kept their art collection in various houses, including the house at Nieuwe Herengracht 43. A memorial plaque on the front is a reminder of the thorough renovation of this building in 1882. The extensive collection was left to the municipality, which gave rise to build the Stedelijk Museum, initially called the Suasso Museum.