see, read about, hear and experience how Amsterdam has developed into the metropolis of today
Amsterdam used to be a small fishing village on the river Amstel. Later it was the centre of 17th-century world trade. Nowadays it is a colourful and international city, with unique characteristics.
The Amsterdam Museum tells the compelling story of the growth and heyday of this unique city. Take a fascinating journey through seven centuries of history. There's a grand tour for those with plenty of time or, if you're in a hurry, follow the tour of the highlights of the museum.
The Amsterdam Museum is housed in the very nice buildings and courtyards of the former Civic Orphanage (Burgerweeshuis). The orphanage was home to thousands of children between 1580 and 1960, many of whom had lost their parents to the plague.
Schutters (Civic Guard) van de compagnie van kapitein Albert Coenraetsz. Burgh en luitenant Pieter Evertsz. Hulft, 1625
Werner Jacobsz. van den Valckert (ca. 1585 - na 1627)
Amsterdam in vogelvlucht, 1538
Bird's-Eye View of Amsterdam, 1538
The above plan is the oldest surviving plan of Amsterdam, by Cornelis Anthonisz. It was commissioned by the governors of the city and hung in the Town Hall for many years. In this painting, south points up and north points down. Amsterdam is shown as a walled city, situated in a waterlogged area at the mouth of the River Amstel. Churches, convents and city gates are the most striking buildings in the city which, in 1538, had a population of about 12,000. Cargo vessels dropped anchor outside the palisade in the IJ. The goods were then loaded onto lighters, which transported them along Damrak to the centre of the city. On Dam Square the goods were weighed and traded. Many boats were needed for Amsterdam's carrying trade. On the left, outside the canal circling the city, are shipyards, roperies and sawmills.
Civic Guard Gallery
The Civic Guard Gallery (Schuttersgalerij), a covered street leading from Begijnensteeg to the museum, is one of the few freely accessible 'museum streets' in the world. Original group portraits, made between 1530 and 2007 by artists such as Bartholomeus van der Helst and Erwin Olaf, hang in the gallery. Even Goliath can be found here: our world famous 350-year-old wooden giant.
The Amsterdam Museum reflects the tolerance, enterprising spirit and individuality of a city that for centuries has attracted people from the 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.
Amsterdam MuseumKalverstraat 92
(Old Centre, close to Spui) official website
|€ 6.50||5-18 years|
Collection OnlineThe Amsterdam Museum (AM) has posted photos and descriptions of some 90,000 of its objects online.
Tips for visitors
1. Every year in the first week of October the museum is open free of charge.
2. Visit the Amsterdam Museum Civic Guard Gallery -- take the gate towards Begijnhof/Spui.
History & cultureA short history of Amsterdam
350-year-old wooden Goliath
350-year-old wooden Goliath