The South Africa House

The South Africa House, also called De Dubbel Arend, is a 17th century canal house on the Keizersgracht and has had a number of illustrious residents such as Laurens Reael, governor general for the VOC and Jacques Specx who was also governor general for the VOC been.

The house is special for two reasons: unique is the fact that it actually consists of two buildings, a 17th century front house and a late 18th century back house. These two houses were later connected by a corridor with a second floor, but because the rear house is smaller than the front house, one can look from the front house through a wide passage to the back garden.

Unique collection

For decades, the South Africa House has managed a library with a unique collection entirely focused on South Africa, and the largest department of South African literature in Europe. Most of the collection is in Afrikaans, Dutch or English. In 2014 and 2015, the South Africa House underwent a major renovation: the archives were intensively edited and have since been kept in an air-conditioned depot.


Since the renovation, there has also been a small theater hall, where small-scale cultural events such as film & documentary screenings, lectures, debates, concerts and book presentations are organized. 

The programming is diverse in design and focused on Southern Africa. As much connection as possible is sought with other Dutch partners and festivals (including History and Literature faculties UvA and University of Ghent, Week of the African Novel, Afrikaans Kultuurfees Amsterdam and Afrovibes).

The South Africa House has various rooms for rent for meetings, small concerts and performances. More information about the programs and activities visit the website .