The House of Gisèle
Castrum Peregrini, ‘the fortress of the pilgrim’, is the nom de guerre of a WWII safehouse in the city centre of Amsterdam. Driven by her beliefs of art and friendship artist Gisèle van Waterschoot van der Gracht (1912 – 2013) helped young intellectuals and artists survive the war by offering them refuge in her house. Many parts of this canal house remain unchanged, making its history palpable. An old pianola that served as a hiding space, shelves full of poetry books, the original furniture and Gisèle’s countless collections tell a rich story of the entire twentieth century. The human values of the House of Gisèle have grown and deepened in post-war years. On this background, Castrum Peregrini has developed into a lively house which organises debates, publications and exhibitions. The heart remains the House of Gisèle; with its maze of rooms, corridors, stairways and surprising spaces it is living testimony to humanitarian spirit, civil courage and the life of Gisèle.
Three Pillars of Castrum Peregrini
Memory Machine is an ongoing public programme that centres around the cultural memory of society and individual identity. The lectures, exhibitions, publications and debates target creative producers, artists, students, teachers, academics and opinion leaders.
Intellectual Playground is the title of an international think-tank of philosophers, political scientists and writers who share and collect knowledge. Regular meetings, residences, and publications form their discussions.
The House of Gisèle is a visitor centre in which the past literally becomes visible through its quarters, its furniture and its nature as a safehouse. The house tells dozens of stories about culture and humanity. Here, silent heroes from the past are remembered, while civil courage of today is celebrated with the annual Gisèle Prize.
This DNA makes Castrum Peregrini and the House of Gisèle a unique place, combining a heroic past with pressing social issues. In addition, it literally provides space for creative and engaged creators who believe in working together: the co-working space. Castrum Peregrini has an unequivocal belief in a society where nobody is excluded and that embraces diversity and equality as conditions for progress.
Michael Defuster (executive director), Frans Damman (marketing), Lars Ebert (programme), Judith Couvée(production), Leon Laskus (ASF volunteer)
Jan-Petrus Rozenbroek (chair), Ute Oelmann (secretary), Erik Somers (treasurer)
Board of Recommendation
Avrum Burg (chair), Marjan Schwegman, Ronny Naftaniel, Maya Meijer Bergmans, Job Cohen, Eric Fisscher
Stichting Castrum Peregrini is een ‘Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling’
Bestuur (board) en Comité van aanbeveling (advisory board) zijn onbezoldigd