On the morning of the 25th February we took the tram into Central Station and tagged on with the 48 hour Iamsterdam city card we bought the day before. The time starts counting the minute you tag on for your first transport ride, and for the Museum side once you tag on your first entry.
We walked to Kalverstraat 92, (remember the fancy pedestrian shopping street I mentioned here?) and almost hidden from the street is the Amsterdam Museum, formerly a 17th century Orphanage that operated for 400 years. You can find out more about this era inside.
Here you can discover the history of Amsterdam from it's beginning till today's modern city - Amsterdam DNA they call it.
A lot of interactive displays, art and old artifacts. At the reception counter you are given a booklet in your language of choice with a bar-code on the cover, and to hear the commentary on the displays, just tag the bar-code on the screen of the various columns scattered around the museum and put the earphones to your ear to follow the commentary.
Entry costs 12 Euros, but of course it's free with the city card we had, it's open from 10am to 5pm and I highly recommend a visit. It wasn't crowded either which made for a pleasant visit. There is a pleasant Cafe in the courtyard.
|Entry to the Amsterdam Museum at 92 Kalverstraat|
|The Orphanage area|
|Inner courtyard at the Amsterdam Museum|
|Statue of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who went into hiding and wrote a diary about her experiences|
|Most Amsterdam buildings are built under sea level...|
The museum also houses a portrait gallery on the ground floor, called the Schuttersgalerij (Civil Guards Gallery) with artworks from old masters to modern artists, wooden statues of David and Goliath, and best of all it's a free area. (It's also a passage way to another street)
From the top floor of the Museum you can see the paintings in the Portrait Gallery, as well as a gigantic statue of Goliath and two smaller statues of David and and a shield bearer. The wooden statues created in 17th century were previously attractions in an Amusement park. They do look impressive here!
|Modern painting depicting various personalities from Dutch history|
|One of the old Masters portrait|
|The Portuguese lace in the white block|
|The top middle square depicts typical Aboriginal paintings (Australia)|
Lunch over we took Tram nr. 9 and got off at Rembrandt Plein, one of the busiest squares in the city. In the middle is a statue of Rembrandt sculpted in 1852, looking down on the 3D version of his "Nightwatch" painting which hangs in the Rijksmuseum.
From here a short walk to to the Willet-Holhuysen Museum, at Heerengracht 605.
Heerengracht is the posh street of Amsterdam with the palatial homes that can be seen from the canal on the boat tours.
The Willet- Holhuysen museum opens from 10am to 5pm, entry costs 8,50 Euros (free for city card).
This family residence built in 1685-1690, was last occupied by wealthy art collectors - Abraham and Louise Willet-Holthuysen. Being childless, they donated the house and it's contents to the city of Amsterdam on the condition it would be made into a Museum, which then opened to the public in 1895. This splendid house on 4 floors showcases how the well traveled couple lived their glamorous and opulent lifestyle among their extensive art collection. Behind the house is a long 18th century style French garden.
Everything from the high ceilings (maybe 5 to 6metres high) to the sweeping staircase shows the class of these residences.
The very modern kitchen in the basement, used by the servants
The Women's Salon
The Study/small collection room, overlooking the garden
The garden laid out in 18th century French style
We hopped on the Nr 9 tram again to go to the Rembrandt House Museum at Jodenbreestraat 4, near the National Opera and Ballet. The Museum is open from 1am to 6pm and entry fee is 12,50euro (free with city card).
Rembrandt lived here between 1639 and 1658 and the house interiors have been restored to their original state. Most of his paintings and etchings are housed here, as well as art works from his many art students.
The kitchen with a fireplace, where cooking and eating took place. The box bed is where the maid slept. You might think it's too small, but in those times people slept almost sitting up.
A collection of his casts and other collectibles are stored in this room.
There are daily etching and paint mixing demonstrations showing how to mix the pigments like Rembrandt did.
The sun had set, getting cold again, so it was time to go home.
From today's visit I highly recommend the Amsterdam Museum as it was for sure the best museum we visited in Amsterdam and the Willet-Holthuysen House was also very interesting to get an idea how the high society, merchants and traders lived a few centuries ago.
Wednesday,25th February 2015