A Glimpse into the Dutch Golden Age
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is one of the most important museums in the Netherlands, best known for its paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. World-famous masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen are on display in the Gallery of Honour & the Night Watch Gallery. But there is much more to see: the museum houses all kinds of objects from the Middle Ages up to the present, taking you on a journey through the history of the Netherlands. There is even an aeroplane in the attic! Check out the Rijksstudio website for all the museum’s collections, including an overview of highlights. Every year, two million people visit the museum. Make sure to buy your tickets online in advance and arrive early in the morning to avoid having a crowd standing between Rembrandt and yourself.
The Rijksmuseum was designed by architect Pierre Cuypers, who also built Amsterdam Central Station and De Haar Castle. In 1885, when the museum opened, not everybody appreciated the Gothic Revival architecture. King Willem III, for instance, disliked the building so much that he announced he would never set foot in it. (‘Je ne mettrai jamais le pied dans ce monastère.’) However, when Queen Beatrix reopened the museum in 2013 after a renovation by Antonio Cruz & Antonio Ortiz, the new Rijksmuseum caused national excitement. And as a bibliophile, I myself am especially pleased with the galleries in the Cuypers Library. Our children’s favourite painting here is Morning Ride along the Beach by Anton Mauve, because we always take them to museums while they would prefer to go to the beach.rijksmuseum.nl