Castrum Peregrini was a hiding place at the Amsterdam Herengracht during the occupation of the Netherlands.  Art and poetry were key to the survival of the group of young hiders. After the war the house became a cultural foundation, ANBI, a meeting point for artists, writers and thinkers, an artistic community publishing a magazine and organizing cultural events. With a reference to history the current activities of Castrum Peregrini relate to its core values freedom, friendship and culture. Thematic and multidisciplinary activities around these values are realized in local, national and international partnerships.  The historic building of Castrum Peregrini houses the original hiding floor, living spaces, Gisèle’s studio, library, archive and gallery space for exhibitions and events. Have a look at the agenda for upcoming events.

Past and ongoing activities

Thematic year programmes

2011 We Are Alle Fanatics!
A series of events and publication on the phenomenon of group fanaticism.

2012 In me the Paradox of Liberty
A series of events and publication on the meaning of freedom today

2013 My Friend. My Enemy. My Society.
A series of events and publications on the meaning of friendship in society

2014/2015 Memory Machine - We Are What We Remember
A series of exhibitions, events and publications on cultural memory and the relation with identity


Openingsevening 25 april 2013, with Peter Sloterdijk, Merel de Groot, Abdelkader Benali, Jeroen van Kan, Ed Spanjaard en Henk Neven. Foto Simon Bosch.


Aura (2009)
Curated by Michiel van Iersel; With works of Susanne Kriemann, Alexandra Leykauf, John Kleckner, Chris Kabel, Simon van Keulen, Gisèle, Max Beckmann, Jan Toorop en Walter Benjamin.

Networking Books (2010)
Mapping a creative network and creating a temporary canon in the library of Castrum Peregrini.

Matter of Monument (2011)
Curated by Saskia van Stein and Huib Haye van der Werf. With works of Michiel Schuurman, Bas de Wit, Inti Hernandez, Simon Bosch, e.a.

You Are All Individuals (2011)
Curated by Nina Folkersma as part of the series We Are Alle Fanatics! With works of Yael Bartana, Daya Cahen, Köken Ergun, Enrique Marty, Daniel Svarre.

Paradox of Liberty (2012)
Curated by Paco Barragan as part of the series In me the paradox of liberty. With works of Erika Harrsch, Majeed Beenteha, Eugenio Merino, Erwin Olaf, Terry Rodgers, Siri Hermansen, Gordon Cheung, Alex Rodríguez, Piers Secunda, Andrés Serrano, Eli Cortiñas, Yvette Mattern.

[s]elected (2012)
Noninees of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie Award: Lukas Hoffmann, Sara Glahn, Laura Pappa, Anna Navndrup, Marieke Berghuis, Elisabeth Leerssen, Christopher Holloran, Jacob Gallant Raeder, Leanie van der Vyver

Now and Then. Between Layers of Memory(2012)
Work of Iosif Kiraly curated by Maria Rus Bojan.

Shapeshifting (2013)
Curated by Maria Barnas and Danila Cahen as part of the series My Friend. My Enemy. My Society. With works of Maria Barnas, Daya Cahen, Dina Danish, Alfredo Jaar, Simon van Keulen, Alon Levin, Aernout Mik, Willem de Rooij, Rob Schröder, Jan Svankmajer, Jasmijn Visser, Felix Weigand.

In Search of lost Time (2014) A group exhibition of visual dairies as part of Memory Machine curated by Ronit Eden with works of: Adrian Melis  CU\ES, Armando NL\DE, Donna Kuhn US, Emma Rendel  SE, Gigi Scaria IN, HF van Steensel  NL, Ilya Rabinovich MD\NL, Jakob Roepke DE, Nan Goldin US\FR, Peter Goldschmidt DE\NL, Raed Yassin LB, Ronit Porat IL, Servet Kocyigit TR\NL, Yuri Rosmani NL

Family Affair (2015)
Curated by Galia Gur Zeev as part of the series Memory Machine  With Reli and Avner Avrahami



European projects, residencies and boarder crossing collaborations

Fanaticism (2009 – 2011)
A European community fundet project (FAT 2009-2011) with a lot of spin-off and ongoing activities around the theme of group-fanaticism.

Mapping Future Heritage (2011-2013)
A project in collaboration with the Centre for Humanities at the University of Lviv, Ukraine and the National University of the Arts, Bucharest, Romania.

Curator/Thinker-In-Residence (ongoing)
A coollaborative residence programme with the Goethe Institut Niederlande.

TimeCase (2012-2014)
A European project on cultural memory and participation

Silent Heroes (2013-2015)
A European project on WWII Hiding Places and their role in museumeducation

A house as a muse (ongoing)
In 2009 Amie Dicke made her first artwork in a historic interior of Castrum Peregrini. Related projects and research get a continuity through a grant (2013/2015) by Mondriaan Fund.



Evening salons

Redux (2009/2010/2012)
 IMG_34853 speakers and one moederator each give a short statement realting their own work to a thought of an influential figure from the past: Spinoza, Hannah Arendt, Georg Büchner, Elias Canetti… They come back to life in contemporary work from various disciplines.

Mythes (2010-2012)
Series inspired by Roland Barthes: deconstructing Myths of today that reveal insights in current society and culture.

Evenings in partnership
Book presentations, expert talks, Museumnacht Amsterdam, Fringe festival,- worth while cross-overs




Baeke e a -De waarheid is een vrouw LR

The publishing house ‘Castrum Peregrini Press’ has been outsourced to Wallstein Verlag, see Castrum Peregrini Neue FolgeCastrum Peregrini. Neue Folge. at Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen Germany.

For the Castrum Peregrini Periodical (1950-2007), books and other publications from the past of the Castrum Peregrini Press check second hand or for inquiries contact E: mail@castrumperegrini.nl


Fanatismo, one-off magazine, 2011

Vreihijd, one-off magazine, 2012

De Vriend, one-off magazine, 2013

De waarheid is een vrouw. I.s.m Cossee, 2013

Memory Machine, one-off Magazine, 2014

You can purchase these publications at Castrum Peregrini during office hours and at events.

Have a look at the agenda

for upcoming events.


Avraham Burg about Castrum Peregrini:

In the center of Amsterdam there is a center of social and cultural activism called Castrum Peregrini. Castrum Peregrini was a hiding place for persecuted Jews during the occupation of the Netherlands by the Nazi regime. Castrum Peregrini – the fortress of the pilgrims – is one of the most welcoming places in Amsterdam. It is a meeting place for social activists, religious and secular people of all faiths, straights and gays, women and men, natives and immigrants, occupiers and victims all working together for a better society from the time the human spirit had to prevail over the horrors of the Holocaust.” – Avraham (Avrum) Burg served as Speaker of the 15th Knesset and Chairman of the Jewish Agency. He is a writer and Senior Fellow of the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, Vienna.


Jeanne Prisser in NRC / weekly review about the avant garde in the arts, about Castrum Peregrini:

als ik zo’n liefdeloos gekleed politicus zinnen hoor boetseren over snijden in het cultuurbudget, over vraaggericht aanbod, over krimpen om te kunnen groeien – dan denk ik aan Castrum Peregrini. Op dat onderduik adres in Amsterdam werden in de tweede Wereldoorlog jonge onderduikers door hun gastvrouw – kunstenares Gisèle d’ Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht, onlangs overleden 100 jaar - in een straf regime aan het schilderen, tekenen, dichten, vertalen gezet. Odre scheppen en ‘zo mogelijk vreugde’ , zoals Willem Sandberg zei, tegen het monster van en de chaos buiten en in het hoofd. Vraagt u mij waarom kunst eigenlijk nodig is, wat het toevoegt, dan neem ik u mee naar de nog steeds intacte etages op de Herengracht in |Amsterdam, waar de kracht van vriendschap en verbeelding mensenlevens redde. “  november 2013

Sascha Bronwasser in Volkskrant about Castrum Peregrini:

Op vrijwel een intacte onderduik etage in A’dam komen WOII en kritiek op het huidige politieke klimaat samen. ONDERBUIKADRES” – mei 2013


Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht  (1912 – 2013) founder of Castrum Peregrini, with Lars Ebert, Frans Damman and Michael Defuster


Organistational structure


Castrum Peregrini is a foundation under Dutch Law.  The executive director, the programme manager and the communcation/marketing-manager work as a team to devleop the foundations policies, initiate and manage projects and to sustain the foundations heritage. Castrum Perergini works with a staff (2,2fte) and free lance project workers, teachers and trainers. A pool of volunteers contributes to the everyday running of the organisation.


Michael Defuster – executive director
Lars Ebert – programme manager
Frans Damman – communication and marketing manager
Board of Castrum Peregrini. Foto by Taco Anema..

Jan Rozenbroek – voorzitter
Ute Oelmann - secretaris
Jan Baeke
Erik Somers
Programme Advisors
Anneke Jansen - Fringe Festival
Jan Baeke – Poetry International
Truus Ophuysen – ELIA
Michiel van Iersel – Non-Fiction
Maarten Bul - SSBA Salon
Iris van de Tuin - Univeristeit van Utrecht
Joachim Umlauf - Goethe Institut Parijs
Alfred Marseille - Zeezeilen
Eric Wie - COBRA Museum

Stichting Castrum Peregrini is a Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling (ANBI).

Fiscaal Nummer: 0029.63.346
Beleidsplan Castrum Peregrini 2014/2015
Financiële verantwoording CP 2013

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