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Snouck van Loosenhuis

The Snouck van Loosenhuis is a prominent town house on the Old Port of Enkhuizen. The 18th-century part is the former residence of the Snouck van Loosen family, who became rich through trade during the time of the East India and West India Company. The family lived in the house until 1885, when this branch of the family died out with Maria Snouck van Loosen. Maria left her property to a relief fund. She stipulated in her will that “this house shall be furnished for habitation for unmarried women or widows of the decent rank.” The builder of the original domed house (1742) was the merchant and mayor Dirk Semeyns van Loosen. In 1786 his cousin Dirk Elias van Loosen inherited the property; he enlarged it by purchasing two lots on the left. The building was expanded with a new rear house in neo-Renaissance style and was officially opened as a ladies’ house in 1893. Since then, time has virtually stood still in the Snouck van Loosenhuis. The distinguished rooms on the right at the front, dating from 1742, have wallpapers of dark red velvet d’Utrecht and a rich fireplace, topped by a chimney piece in an lavishly carved frame. On either side are display cabinets, decorated with rococo ornaments and gilded lead trim. The left front room in its current state dates from 1892. The original neoclassical interior was partly replaced by an old fireplace and gold leather wallpaper from a garden room demolished in 1890. The only surviving 18th-century painted ceiling is in the dome of the house. With its panelling, chimney and the former secretariat and buffet niche, this space has many elements from the construction period. In the basement, the cooking and work kitchen catch the eye. The enormous marble counters, the china cabinets and the monumental stove exude an atmosphere of bygone times.