De Harmonie is a typical Dutch brown café annex hotel located in a 150 years old building in the historical city centre of Edam on one of its many canals.
Until 1680 De Harmonie took care of the fresh water supply for ships visiting in Edam. For this purpose you will find a large well underneath the ground in the back yard, which is still intact. Its size is 6x6x5 meters and contained 70.000 liters of water, pure enough to drink.
After 1680 De Harmonie became a pension. The french writer Havard describes De Harmonie in his travel reports of "Les villes Mortes". At this period the pension was managed by 3 elderly ladies. With sadness he discribes that when he passed by a year later that there where only 2 of them left, sitting behind the window drinking a cup of tea. Another year went by and there was only 1 lady left...
From 1850 to 1960 De Harmonie was transformed into a pub where workers got there pay check at the end of the week. Of course unsually spend half their wage straight at the bar.
In 1940 on the same spot where the terrace used to be the owners built a liquor store. In 1992 this was transformed into an extension of the pension. During the twenties mayor Kalkoen needed to evacuate the café several times what he personally took upon him using his copper stick. The father of the previous owner had his own method to maintain order if necessary in De Harmonie, using a so called "english key", hence the nickname "the English key" for the café. This key comes along with each new owner of De Harmonie as a relic from the past.