Amsterdam: New Hermitage Museum opens in Amsterdam

Posted in: Amsterdam Sights

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The June, 2009 opening of the Hermitage in Amsterdam. Photo by wizse.
The June, 2009 opening of the Hermitage in Amsterdam. Photo by wizse.

On June 19, 2009, the newly renovated Hermitage Amsterdam opened its doors to reveal the best of Russian culture.

Located on the Amstel River, this museum is a grand venue. The Hermitage Amsterdam’s building, known as the Amstelhof, dates back to 1682, when it served as a retirement home for elderly women. Now it houses a museum showcasing the opulent lifestyles of Russian nobility and their collection of artwork from ages past. The museum’s opening ceremony was a grand affair attended by guests such as Dutch Queen Beatrix and Russian President Medvedev.

The Hermitage’s debut exhibit, “At the Russian Court,” offers a glimpse into the lives of the 19th century Russian royalty–from the exquisite attire to the delicate porcelains. This fantastic display of history and elegance will run through January 31, 2010.

A Hermitage in Amsterdam?

If countries were people, the Netherlands and Russia would be long-lasting pen pals. The bond between the two countries began when Tsar Peter the Great studied in the Netherlands. Peter was incredibly fond of Western culture, so much that he wanted his newly built Russian city to have a Dutch-sounding name—hence, St. Petersburg was born.

Soon enough, Peter the Great as well as his successors started collecting paintings, drawings, sculptures, and porcelain. A number of these pieces depicted Russian culture, though many works of art were done by western European artists commissioned by the Russian aristocracy.

A New-found Russian Home in the Dutch Capital

For a while, the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg had been seeking a location in Europe to showcase the elegance and artistry of the Russian past. And what better place than Amsterdam, the very city that captured Peter the Great’s heart?

The dream came true when the Hermitage Amsterdam opened in 2004 with a grand inaugural ceremony. There were always plans to renovate the museum, and these plans were put in action in 2007. The opening ceremony in June, 2009, marked the opening of the whole recently expanded museum.

A painting on display at the Amsterdam Hermitage. Photo by niclas.

A painting on display at the Amsterdam Hermitage. Photo by niclas.

Admission and Practical Info

One of the most cost-effective ways to visit the Hermitage is purchasing the I Amsterdam card. The card covers admission to a large number of museums in the city and can be bought for one day (€38), two days (€48), or three days (€58). This option makes sense if you’re planning a museum spree in the city.

If the Hermitage Amsterdam is your main priority, however, you can purchase tickets for €15 (children up to age 16 get in free).

The Hermitage is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM, and Wednesdays from 10 AM to 8 PM. Take Metro line 51, 53, or 54 to the Waterlooplein, Nieuwe Herrengracht exit.

About the author

About the author: Amy K Goemans is a writer and web developer based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Her travel experiences include Europe and Southern Africa with occasional visits to Asia. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Durban are currently her top favorite cities.

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