Amsterdam, 10 November 2022

Amsterdam as Haven for Religious Refugees in the Early Modern Period

In the 17th century Amsterdam became a hotbed of religious exchange, as religious exiles from all over the continent flocked to the Netherlands and especially its capital city because of relatively lax laws on religious expression and publishing. One center of such exchange was the so-called House with the Heads on Keizersgracht, the home of Louis de Geer and later his son Laurens. Both men acted as patrons to a variety of religious free thinkers and reformers. Figures such as Jan Comenius, Friedrich Breckling and Christian Hoburg gathered in the De Geer home to discuss their ideas. Today, the House with the Heads is home to the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica and its associated museum, the Embassy of the Free Mind. Following a keynote lecture by Emile Schrijver on 10 November, a two-day academic conference will be held on 11 and 12 November with a variety of speakers on the role of Amsterdam as a haven for religious refugees.
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