Luckily, we had a free day in Amsterdam to visit the newly re-opened Rijksmuseum before our AMAWaterways Tulip Time Cruise. With complementary admission to the Rijksmuseum and a citi-card from the Amsterdam Tourist Office, we were on our way, taking the fabulous local bus system to the Museumplein and a short walk to the Museum.
Founded in 1800, the Rijksmuseum is the premier history and arts museum in the Netherlands. With more than 8000 treasures on display in 80 galleries, each floor showcases a different century. The Rijksmuseum is home primarily to works of the great Dutch painters. Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and Peter aul Rubens are all represented, as well as Vincent van Gogh and many contemporary artists.
But, you will also be enchanted by the Asian pavilion, the library, and the Teekenschool (a multidisciplinary education centre.) The architecturally significant building was closed for ten years in 2003 in order to achieve a complete renovation. With great fanfare, the museum was reopened by Queen Beatrix on April 13, 2013, just weeks before the Queen abdicated the throne.
Modern renovation architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz have retained the original core architecture and exposed the huge galleries and almost cathedral-like entrance to the museum. Last time we were there, only a small portion of the museum was open, so to see the museum as it was originally intended was an astounding experience. By the way, if the museum reminds you of the Centraal Station in Amsterdam, it is because Pierre Cuypers was the architect for both.
Another little-known fact is that, in Amsterdam where bikes are king, there is a bike thoroughfare under the museum for bike commuters.
To complete the project, the museum garden has been re-landscaped to provide a quiet place to contemplate and rest after your foot-tiring cultural experience.
If You Go:
Open Daily from 9:00 am til 6:00 pm. (to avoid the crowds in high season, visit the museum after 4:00pm.)
Prices: Adults: 14 €, Children under 18 are free.
Free WiFi is available in the museum
Written by Terri Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com