The South Africa House

The South Africa House, also known as De Dubbel Arend, is a 17th-century canal house on Keizersgracht that has had a number of illustrious residents, such as governors-general for the VOC Laurens Reael and Jacques Specx. 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 back house is smaller than the front house, one can look from the front house through a wide passage to the backyard.

Unique collection

For decades, the South Africa House has managed a library with a unique collection focused entirely 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 have been intensively processed and have been kept in a climate-controlled depot ever since.


Since the renovation, a small theater has also been built, where small-scale cultural events such as film and documentary screenings, lectures, debates, concerts and book presentations are organized. The programming is diverse and focused on Southern Africa. As much connection as possible is sought with other Dutch partners and festivals (including History and Literature faculties of the UvA and Ghent University, Week of the African Romance, 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.