Amsterdam Historic Museum, Amsterdam

4 out of 5 stars 4 Stars - 40 Reviews

Kalverstraat 92 - 1012 PH Amsterdam +31-20-5231822

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Exhibits
    Exhibits
    by mickeyboy07
  • Post Office at the Paalhuis 1665.
    Post Office at the Paalhuis 1665.
    by breughel
  • Regentenkamer.
    Regentenkamer.
    by breughel
  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Amsterdams Historisch Museum - III. Regenten.

    by breughel Updated Apr 23, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Regenten-Governors,  C. Moyaert
    2 more images

    The museum changed name on 1/01/2011 and is now called Amsterdam Museum.

    Being housed in the former civic orphanage, the Amsterdam Historical Museum kept the "Regenten kamer", where the governors of the "Burgersweeshuis" orphanage held their meetings, as it was at the end of the 19th.c. with furniture and paintings of the 17th.c.
    The museum has a number of items, mainly paintings, on display concerning this aspect of the "social security" in Amsterdam some centuries ago. At this civic orphanage were only admitted children from "poorters" or burghers of the city.
    Other children were accommodated in the many religious orphanages.
    Plague epidemics in those times left many orphans. A numbers of paintings show how they were dressed in a red and black uniform, fed, their daily life.
    Surprising is too see that children did drink beer at table. It was a beer with a very low alcohol degree, by the brewing process and cooking of the grain most bacteria's present in the water were destroyed so that it was less dangerous for health to drink beer than just water. The orphans' diet was generous and there was low mortality.
    The orphanages were run by a set of regents or regentesses who were almost without exception individuals appointed from the Amsterdam elite. Matrons were responsible for the daily running.

    A number of large paintings show the regents or regentessen. Remarkable are the paintings "Clothing the Orphans in the Deaconate Orphanage" 1657 by Jan Victors and "Regenten" by Cl. Moyaert.

    Open: Monday to Friday 10 - 17 h
    Saturday and Sunday 11 - 17 h
    Price (2011): 10 €,
    6 - 18 yr 5€
    Free with museum card (can be bought here).

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Amsterdams Historisch Museum - IV. Anatomy.

    by breughel Updated Jan 23, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Room 11 shows 5 anatomy lessons painted by some of the best Dutch painters.
    In the 17th century, Amsterdam and the United Provinces were among Europe’s foremost scientific centres. The quest for knowledge and for anatomical knowledge in particular, was not seen to be in conflict with religion. Even so, the dissection of a human body was not seen as a natural act. Permission was granted only sparingly, and only to well-known members of the universities, who would be allowed to perform dissections for teaching purposes or as public demonstrations.
    We can see "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Jan Deijman," (1656) by Rembrandt van Rijn.
    Famous are the anatomy lessons of Dr. Frederik Ruysch by Adriean Backer (1670) and another of a child by Jan Van Neck.
    Ruysch a prominent surgeon, obstetrician, and anatomist was the chief anatomist of the Amsterdam surgeons' guild.
    Impressive these anatomy lessons!

    Open: Monday to Friday 10 - 17 h
    Saturday and Sunday 11 - 17 h
    Price: 10 €,
    6 - 18 yr 5€
    Free with museum card (can be bought here).

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Amsterdam Historisch Museum - II. Civic Guard

    by breughel Updated Jun 22, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    On my previous visit in 2007 I got very much impressed by the esthetical and cultural homogeneity of he "Schuttersgalerij" Civic Guards’ Gallery, a typical example of the Dutch identity as existed in the Gouden Eeuw (17th c. )
    Since then the Gallery has been "renovated" and is now a mix of different things. My impression was that of seeing a souk!
    In order to show the diversity of the present Amsterdam the floor is covered with a 40 m long carpet with the characteristics of all 179 nationalities present in the city.
    From the Dutch press I read that artist Barbara Broekman designed the carpet from the idea that the diversity of cultures in the city is an asset rather than a problem.
    I wonder if it was a good idea for the museum curator to get involved in the controversial Dutch politics about what is called "multiculti" but the esthetic consequences of his choice are somewhat traumatic for those who saw the "Schuttersgalerij" as it was before the changes.

    ======================

    The "Schuttersgalerij" Civic Guards’ Gallery of the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, called Amsterdam Museum since 1/01/2011, is a glass-roofed walkway with free access to the public.

    Militia guilds were first formed in the Middle Ages by the civic authorities to be called out in emergencies. Members of the civic guard were well-to-do burghers. They had to buy their own equipment and arms. They held firing practice in shooting galleries known as 'doelen' (= targets). Each civic guard was named after its weapon. There were crossbowmen and longbowmen, and harquebusiers. The latter carried firearms, the harquebus or 'klover' in Dutch.

    The militias regularly commissioned group portraits, so-called militia paintings.
    Today some 125 militia paintings survive. Amsterdam and Haarlem were the major centre of production.
    The famous "Night Watch" of Rembrandt is one among many but is unique because it shows a Civic Guard Company moving, marching on, while the others are mainly static.

    The members of these civic guards had to pay to be portrayed. It is known that in Haarlem the price was about 60 Florin of that time per person. For the "Night Watch "the price was about 100 Florin per person. In the 17th c. a weaver earned about 200 Florin per year.
    Ordinary guardsmen did not appear in a civic guard painting. Having to pay for their own weapons was enough.

    15 huge paintings of the Amsterdam Civic Guards are on (free) display in the "Schuttersgalerij" Civic Guards’ Gallery which is a glass-roofed walkway (closes at 17 h). Best known is "De Compagnie van kapitein Joan Huydecoper" (1648) by Govert Flick.

    Open: Monday to Friday 10 - 17 h
    Saturday and Sunday 10 - 17 h
    Price museum: 10 €, The "Schuttersgalerij" Civic Guards’ Gallery is free.
    6 - 18 yr 5€
    Free with museum card (can be bought here).

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Amsterdam Museum - Renovated.

    by breughel Updated Jun 23, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Nieuwe Brug in 1663.
    2 more images

    On my previous visit, in 2007, I much liked what was then called the Amsterdam Historisch Museum.
    I wrote several reviews:
    "Generalities"
    "Civic Guard"
    "Regenten"
    "Anatomy"
    in accordance with what I found most essential for the Dutch history, culture and arts. Actually this is for me the Gouden Eeuw 17th c. period.

    On this new visit (May 2013) after the renovation I felt curious to see why the word "historical" had been removed from the name of the museum.
    The curator wrote somewhere "Nu zijn de bezoekers soms al uitgeput als ze bij de twintigste eeuw aanbelanden" = "Now visitors are already exhausted when they arrive in the twentieth century".
    Before there was a grand tour that took several hours and a short one of the highlights.

    The things now have been more divided. There is an "Amsterdam DNA tour" of about 45 minutes with films; a compacted exhibition on the Gouden Eeuw. The displays are more recreational than before and accessible to children.
    Trying a complete chronological visit was a bit confusing for me on my recent visit as one has to go in different parts of the building.
    It seemed to me that the previous organization of the museum was more historically structured (and more tiring to visit). A larger and younger public is now targeted with more recreational displays.

    Photos are allowed in the museum so that I gathered some pics of my favored Dutch paintings.

    Open: Every day 10 - 17 h
    Price museum (2013): 10 €, 5 - 18 yr 5€
    Free with museum card (can be bought here).

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • breughel's Profile Photo

    World War II in Amsterdam.

    by breughel Updated Jun 22, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Liberation of Amsterdam on 8/05/1945.
    1 more image

    On my last visit I spend more time in the museum department about the city during WW II because during my visit the Liberation of Amsterdam on 7 and 8th May 1945 was remembered.
    The Netherlands were invaded on 10 May 1940 and after a heavy and very destructive bombing of Rotterdam the Dutch forces surrendered on May 14th.
    Amsterdam was not bombed, what explains that in this city there are still many old houses when there are only very few left in Rotterdam.

    During WW II Amsterdam suffered of two major disasters: the deportation of more than 60.000 Jewish residents and the famine of the 1944-1945 winter called the "Hongerwinter". All this is shown in the museum by documents of that period. I must say I was the only visitor of that part.

    The tragic fate of the Jewish community is well known outside Holland because of the Anne Frank diary.
    The diary was published in the Netherlands as "Het Achterhuis" (= annex) in 1947, followed by a second run in 1950. If I remember well I read that book in the late 1950s. Anne Frank made me often think of a Jewish friend from Vienna who staid hidden in Belgium and survived (see my tip on Vienna "Survivors" ).

    The "Hungerwinter" is less known outside Holland and was very tragic when you see that Belgium and the south of the Netherlands were liberated in September 1944 while Amsterdam was only liberated 8 months later on 8 May1945!
    2.300 inhabitants died during that winter 44-45 for lack of food, heating, medicine. People were eating dogs, cats and even tulip bulbs. Electricity fell out.

    Strange enough in the museum I found no mention of who liberated Amsterdam after the five years of occupation! I asked an attendant who did not know but came back later to me telling that according to his research on the web it were the Canadians.

    Actually according to the commemoration plaque on the Berlagebrug it were British Recce's who were the first to enter Amsterdam:
    THE FIRST ALLIED LIBERATORS
    WHO ON 7 MAY ALONG THIS BRIDGE
    ENTERED AMSTERDAM, BELONGED TO THE
    BRITISH 49th W.R. RECONNAISSANCE REGIMENT.
    ON 8 MAY FOLLOWED BY THE
    CANADIAN FORCES.
    I found a photo of them on their Brenguncarriers and a photo of that memorial plaque.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Amsterdam Historisch Museum - I. Generalities

    by breughel Updated Sep 23, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    The museum changed name on 1/01/2011 and is now called Amsterdam Museum.

    This is a quite interesting museum especially now that the Rijksmuseum shows only one fifth of its collections.
    The Historic Museum combines history and arts over 3 periods in 24 rooms of the former Civic Orphanage:
    Period 1350-1550 at rooms 1-3 showing the story of the small settlement on the river Amstel.
    Surprising are the excavated objects found in cesspits such as clay pipe fragments. The AHM has 200.000 archaeological objects of all kinds found in Amsterdam.

    Period 1550-1815 is certainly the most interesting with rooms 4-12 who show a large number of art works of this period which includes the Golden Century.
    Most interesting are models of shipyards and maritime paintings showing the Dutch maritime power of that age. Famous is the painting of Willem van de Velde the Younger "The Gouden Leeuw on the IJ at Amsterdam", (1686). This was once the former flagship of Admiral Cornelis Tromp.
    Interesting is the model (1742) of an eastindiaman from the VOC (Dutch East India Company) being transported on a ship's camel. These were long caissons that encased the ship's hull. When full of air they raised the ship out of the water. The Amsterdam harbour was difficult for deep vessels to enter due to sandbanks.

    From this period are also on display a large number of good paintings with landscapes, winter landscapes, town views, church interiors, still life and the famous civic guard paintings on which I will come back.

    Period 1815-2000 with rooms 13-24 starts at the end of the French rule under Napoleon. The visitor will find here a beautiful doll-house as well as paintings from the very good Dutch Impressionist School.
    It shows the happy times as well as the drama's (the terrible winter of 1944) of the modern Amsterdam.

    There is a grand tour and a short one of the highlights.

    Open: Monday to Friday 10 - 17 h
    Saturday and Sunday 11 - 17 h
    Price (2012): 10 €,
    6 - 18 yr 5€
    Free with museum card (can be bought here).
    Photos are allowed.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    Amsterdam Historisch Museum

    by codrutz Updated Jan 23, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    �� www.ahm.nl


    Included in the Amsterdam Pass there is also a (must do) visit to the Amsterdam Museum of History (Amsterdam Historisch Museum). There you will travel back in time from the first years of the founding of the small village and the first dam on the Amstel River, trough its development as a great merchant sea port, trading commodities and expanding to what now it became also one of the greatest ports in the world, but also one of the nicest cities, much due to its canals.

    My advice is: Do not miss the Amsterdam Historisch Museum!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    The History of Amsterdam

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Feb 5, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Orphanage gable stone
    3 more images

    The Amsterdam Museum (former Amsterdam Historic Museum) is housed in the former orphanage founded around 1520 in a house on Kalverstraat. In 1579 the institute moved to the former St Lucy's convent that once stood on the site of the present museum. This medieval building was gradually demolished and in the course of the seventeenth century a new complex emerged.

    The museum has exhibitons, a permanent collection & library and a movie theater.

    Visiting hours:
    Daily: 10AM - 5PM

    Admission: Euro 10.00

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • tompt's Profile Photo

    Amsterdam for free: old orphanage

    by tompt Written Mar 18, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    regents room

    The Amsterdam historic museum is located in the former city orphanage. The museum is worth visiting, but will cost you 6 Euro.
    A small part is dedicated to the city orphanage and is free.... It are three rooms, on eroom will show what the orphans looked like, the second room is the regents room, and behind that is the third room dedicated to van Speyk. He is a dutch hero, who blew himself and his ship up to prevent the enemie from capturing them. Van Speyk was a former Amsterdam orphanage boy.
    You can reach these rooms by going into the museum and instead of going left to the cassier go right straight into the rooms.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Imaniac's Profile Photo

    Schuttersgallerij

    by Imaniac Written Jan 2, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Schuttersgallerij (Civic Guard Gallery) is a passageway to the Amsterdam Historic Museum/ It's a hallway with 17th century paintings of civic guards on both sides. The entrance is free of charge. You can get there from the begguinage or go to Kalverstraat number 92. Not a lot of people seem to know about this gallery, so you won't find huge crowds here.

    Was this review helpful?

  • roamer61's Profile Photo

    Amsterdam Historisch Museum

    by roamer61 Written May 16, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This fine museum located in a 17th Century orphanage has an outstanding collection of exhibits detailing the history of Amsterdam, from the time the area was first settled, to the present time. Amongst the treasures are a series of magnificent paintings of civic guards. Highly recommended.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Hours of Amsterdam history and culture!!

    by aaaarrgh Written Jul 8, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    staring at you staring at them
    1 more image

    Amsterdam's Historisch Museum is a perfect place to find absolutely everything about this wonderful city. Perfect for a rainy afternoon - this is a big museum in an old religious building on several floors. It also has exhibtions and a play-room for children.

    For only 6 euros you are taken from the earliest settlers on the Amstel, to the modern liberal city of today. The time-lapse film at the start shows you how dramatically the coast (or lack of it) has changed over 1000 years.

    There were also loads of paintings (almost too many) of the important Amsterdam men of the C16th and C17th. I found it spooky to look at the many faces of people who had been dead for over 400 years! Then there was loads on Amsterdam shipbuilding, with some incredible models.

    The section on twentieth century Amsterdam was the most interesting - I would say if you are short of time, visit the first few rooms and then head straight for the 1900's! Squatters, drugs, the city of tomorrow etc.

    Jeez, I tried hard to go around in 60 minutes but ended up there for over two hours!!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • TrekknHil's Profile Photo

    Amsterdam Historic Museum

    by TrekknHil Written Jul 14, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The old way for protection

    Since this is a museum that is dedicated to the city of Amsterdam and it's history, you will find treasures almost equal to the Rijksmuseum.

    Tour the collection and watch Amsterdam rise from the water to become what it is today.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • ozalp's Profile Photo

    A must see in Amsterdam

    by ozalp Updated Feb 5, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Court and gate of museum
    2 more images

    Historic Museum was very close to the hotel we stayed. After I bought my I Amsterdam card I made a schedule about places I wanted to see the most and I did not think much about this museum. In a cold and rainy day I visited to hotel room for a quick rest and remembered the Historic Museum. It wasn't very late but I wished to have more time to enjoy this museum.

    The building had been used as an orphanage before. It has an inner court and the multistory building surrounds the court is like a labyrinth. First halls contain the oldest pieces of the city: Used shoes, spoons... Then the objects are getting more complicated and exciting. Some halls have objects and stories of people who actually live.
    You can witness fragments of lives which lived in Amsterdam once. You can see a skull of a goat and read that it had been found by a child during the Hunger Winter. And you can imagine how precious it was with all the meat on it.

    Using cameras is allowed in this museum.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • martin_nl's Profile Photo

    Amsterdam Historic Museum

    by martin_nl Written Jun 29, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This hangs above the entrance

    The Amsterdam Historic Museum tells you all about the history of Amsterdam. It is quite a big museum with many different sections that focus on many different subjects. Interesting parts are the Schuttersgallerij (Civic Guard Gallery), the part where the painting De anatomishe les van dr. Jan Deijman by Rembrandt hangs as well as many other places.
    Please also check out the travelogue if you want to see more pics.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Amsterdam

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

65 travelers online now

Comments (1)

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    Beste Pieter Jan,
    The photo (by dough48) appearing as first for the Amsterdam Museum (former Amsterdam Historisch Museum) is that of the Palace on the Dam ! This photo is on the wrong place.

Hotels Near Amsterdam Historic Museum
4.5 out of 5 stars
1611 Opinions
0 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
246 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
72 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices

View all Amsterdam hotels