DutchAmsterdam.nl — If you are at all interested in the history of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Museum should be on your itinerary.
Note that most guidebooks refer to it as the Amsterdam Historisch (Historical) Museum. However, at the start of 2011 the museum was renamed — mostly for marketing purposes.
While history — especially one as interesting as that of Amsterdam — is exciting, the word nevertheless tends to evoke a somewhat dusty and boring image.
Instead, the Amsterdam Museum provides a rich, multi-media experience that gives locals and visitors alike a fantastic overview of Amsterdam’s wonderful history.
The museum’s old website explained that the
Amsterdam Historical Museum is a museum of history and art. It tells the story of Amsterdam using a variety of presentation techniques. That includes exhibitions of objects from the museum collection, but also audiovisual displays and interactive media. These programs contain hundreds of photos and around 225 fragments of historic film, documentaries and movies from Dutch archives.
The purpose of the Amsterdam Historical Museum is to conserve, preserve, selectively expand and display and present the historical collection of the city of Amsterdam for as broad a public as possible. The Amsterdam Historical Museum attempts also to provide an insight into the way contemporary society works, for which knowledge of the past is essential.
– Source: Amsterdam Historical Museum (Old website, no longer online)
Nowadays the Amsterdam Museum website says that the rich collection of works of art, objects and archaeological finds brings to life the fortunes of Amsterdammers of days gone by and today.
You’ll find anything from a mediaeval child’s shoe and the map of Cornelis Antonisz from 1538, giving a bird’s-eye view of the city, to the impressive Civic Guard paintings from the Golden Age.
Of equal importance:
The Amsterdam Museum reflects the tolerance, enterprising spirit and individuality of a city that for centuries has attracted people from the four corners of the earth. The Antwerp merchants and the Sephardic Jews in the 17th century, the farmers from Friesland in the north of the country and Brabant in the south in the 19th century, and the workers from the Mediterranean countries in the 20th century – they’ve all contributed to the story of a unique international city. In the Amsterdam Museum you’ll share their experiences.
The Amsterdam museum is spread out over a labyrinthine cluster of buildings and courtyards on the site of a convent which dates from 1414.
You’ll need about 3-4 hours to see all this sprawling museum has to offer. But even if you only take in part of its collection, you’ll have a much better understanding of the City of Amsterdam and all it stands for.
Daily from 10:00 to 17:00 (10 AM to 5 PM)
Address and Contact Information
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357
1001 AC Amsterdam
It’s a 5-10 minute walk from Dam square through the Kalverstraat shopping street.
Alternatively, you can take Metro 52 — or either tram 4 or 14 — to the Rokin stop, and walk to the museum from there (about 5 minutes).
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Phone: 020 523 1822 [Amsterdam phone info]
Fax: 020 620 7789
More about Museums in Amsterdam
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