Rasphuispoort was once the main entrance to the Rasphuis (Grating House). It was a penitentiary institution with educational purpose where detainees had to grate Brazilian hardwood to a powder that served as a dye for textiles.


The Rasphuispoort gate was designed by the famous Utrecht-born architect, Hendrick de Keyser. It was made from Bentheimer sandstone. The crowning sculpture at the top is the civic virgin of Amsterdam; holding the coat of arms on her knee and a whip on her right hand, flanked by two chained prisoners. The caption CASTIGATIO means punishment. The phrase “VIRTUTIS EST DOMARE QUAE CUNCTI PAVENT” is loosely translated to “WILD BEAST MUST BE TAMED”. The relief above the round arch is the image of a cart loaded with (possibly) Brazilian wood drawn by wild animals, tamed by a driver with a whip.

Rasphuispoort gate dates back to 1603 and was fully restored in 2017. It is now the side entrance of Kalverpassage shopping center.
The exact location is on Heiligeweg, opposite the Voetboogstraat, in the city center of Amsterdam.

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