We started out our fourth day in Amsterdam by visiting the Tulip Museum for a quick visit. We then walked south through the city to visit their flagship art “quarter”. The section of the city has several museums, and on this day we visited just one of them: the Rijksmuseum. I’d read about this museum a few years ago when it was renovated to include a bike path that treads directly through the building, so we were quite excited to see it all in person.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the museum and its collection:
The Rijksmuseum (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɛiksmyˌzeːjʏm]; English: National Museum) is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South.
The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace and later in the Trippenhuis. The current main building was designed by Pierre Cuypers and first opened its doors in 1885. On 13 April 2013, after a ten-year renovation which cost € 375 million, the main building was reopened by Queen Beatrix. In 2013 and 2014, it was the most visited museum in the Netherlands with record numbers of 2.2 million and 2.47 million visitors. It is also the largest art museum in the country.
The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer.
We were in the museum for hours and still didn’t manage to see it all. Below are the many, many photos we took on our full day museum adventure. Read the comments to learn about all the highlights from our day! And shout out to Restaurant ‘t Zwaantje for serving us an incredible dinner.
walking to the museum… like Toronto, this city has streetcars and bike paths too!
and people are looking chic as they cycle through the building!
look at this amazing infrastructure!
um, that baby is huge.
the religious section of the museum, which our trip to Spain taught us to move through quickly. The religious art is usually at the beginning of these museums, but you have to pace yourself well to get to the whole collection!
We also bought this cute little museum guidebook.
you have to wear your back pack on your front in some of these fancier museums
some classical Dutch art
description of the previous image
The Night Watch by Rembrandt is probably the centrepiece of this entire collection
some of the more well known art included these handy guides to help viewers understand and interpret the significance of the work. Again, another example of top quality curation.
The Night Watch is so popular that museum even includes a copy of the original… and they keep it near the original!
A self portrait by Rembrandt
Triptychs were also quite popular in the Netherlands, including this classic piece
By this point I am getting tired, and I have already seen 1000+ works of art
Behind me is a painting of a group of guild masters… in other countries, King’s were commissioning photos of themselves. But here, it was wealthy business owners #samesamebutdifferent
look at that snake!
We made it through the main collection… onto the wild stuff!
Like this entire room of items with the ‘delft’ pattern on them!
or this cool library that was 4 floors!
I dragged Kevin up several flights of stairs to get to this modern art exhibit
we almost left…
… then I realized that we’d missed some pretty key stuff, so we made our way back inside to see this Van Gogh classic!
Napoleon is cool but I’m hungry!
the classic amsterdam sign that many others (especially in Canada) have copied.
the Amsterdam coat of arms is seriously everywhere…
getting a bit jealous of how healthy these fig bushes look (our is doing well but these are serious!)
more transit shots!
Dinner at a really great family-run restaurant called Restaurant ‘t Zwaantje
And a cat to end the day!