2019 is the year from Rembrandt and the Golden Age in the Netherlands. The reason is the 350th anniversary of the death of Holland’s most famous painter, Rembrandt van Rijn. There are numerous activities throughout the year in different cities, such as in Haarlem, Leiden, Leeuwarden and Amsterdam. Visitors can visit special exhibitions, amongst others: Museum De Lakenhal, Rembrandt House Museum, The Mauritshuis and The Rijksmuseum.
The Golden Age was a period of great prosperity for the Dutch Republic. The rich history of the prosperous VOC cities is still visible in the Netherlands. The old townhouses, canals, museums, churches, city walls and harbours all visualize the gems from the Golden Age. The Amsterdam canals and the old masters in the Rijksmuseum are the Golden Age icons for international visitors. However, what many visitors don’t know is that a lot of Golden Age history can be found in other Dutch cities. The exhibitions in these cities provide an enormous insight into this rich periode and the life of Rembrandt.
The Hague, the city of power
The Golden Age was a time of big achievements in art and science. The Hague, the diplomatic center of the Republic and seat of the Orange family, was where the power was concentrated. To experience the Golden Age in The Hague visit the Mauritshuis. The Mauritshuis reopened in 2014 after a big renovation and will display the full collection in the exhibition called ‘Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis for the very first time. This exhibition can be visit from January 15 until September 15, 2019.
Parking is available near the museum. The Mauritshuis is wheelchair accessible and every floor is accessible by elevator. Because of the historical building, not all electric wheelchair can access to the lift. If your electric wheelchair is wider than 78 cm or longer than 150 cm, it will unfortunately not fit in this lift. However, it is possible to reserve one of the standard wheelchairs in the museum. The visitor who assisting a person using wheelchair may enter the museum free of charge. Guide dogs are welcome. During your visit to the museum, you are welcome in the Brasserie for something to drink or eat. The free audio tour is available in different languages.
Middelburg, the perfectly positioned city for VOC
During the Golden Age, Middelburg was perfectly positioned for the trade routes used by the VOC. This compact city can be reached within 2.5 hours by car from Amsterdam. These days, remains of the prosperous era can be found in national monuments, historical buildings, shipyards and cultural institutions.. The total of 1100 national monuments survived World War II bombings and a lot of monuments and buildings were rebuilt in their original style. The Zeeuws Museum is famous because of the Medieval Gothic building style. An enormous collection of shipping equipment, tapestries and clothing brings from the Golden Age is exhibited in the museum. Besides the Zeeuws Museum, the government offices and two churches are also located within the building. The New Church and the Choir Church are recognizable for its imposing ‘Lange Jan’ tower that soars above the city.
Holders of a disabled parking permit enjoy unlimited free parking both in disabled parking spaces and paid parking spaces. The Zeeuws Museum is accessible for wheelchairs with a maximum turning circle of 1.5 metres. Mobility scooters are not allowed, wheelchairs can be borrowed from the front desk. Guide dogs are welcome. The ZMCAFÉ is open during the museum’s opening hours where you can enjoy lunch or coffee.
Leiden, the birthplace of Rembrandt
Leiden was the second largest city in time of the Golden Age. The city is famous because of the university, which is the oldest university in the Netherlands,. It contributed greatly to knowledge and science in the Netherlands and across borders. Besides being a frontrunner in science, the university was a hub for trade and textile manufacturing. Leiden boosts thousands of monuments and memories dedicated to the Golden Age and not to forget, it was the birthplace of Rembrandt van Rijn. Walk around Rembrandt Bridge and Rembrandt Park. Some of the paintings from the beginning of his career are owned by Museum De Lakenhal. 350 years after Rembrandt died, De Lakenhal dedicates an exhibition to ‘Young Rembrandt’. It shows the early work of the painter. The exhibition can be visited from November 2019 until february 2020.
Museum De Lakenhal is accessible for wheelchair very floor is accessible by elevator. Mobility scooters are not allowed. Facilities are available for blind and visually impaired. You can find a shop and museumcafé. In the summer enjoy the terrace of the café!
Amsterdam, Dutch and Spanish artists in Rijksmuseum
When outlining the highlights concerning Rembrandt and the Golden Age, the Rijksmuseum can not be forgotten. From February 15 until June 10 2019, the complete collection can be seen for the first time. The number of 22 paintings, 60 drawings and 300 engravings can be admired in a single exhibition. In fall, October 11 until January 19 2020, it is possible to see paintings by Dutch and Spanish artists from the Golden Age at the exhibition, named ‘Rembrandt-Velázquez’. The unique collaboration between Rijksmuseum and Museo del Prado in Madrid provies a fascinating view on how the Dutch and Spanish thought about beauty, culture, religion and emotion.
The Rijksmuseum cannot be reached by car. There are several nearby streets where parking is permitted. The two entrances have stairs and have lifts. All museum exhibit rooms in the Rijksmuseum can be visited by wheelchair users and visitors with a walker. The visitor who assisting a person using wheelchair may enter the museum free of charge. Every floor can be reached by elevator. The Rijksmuseum offers guided tours for blind and partially sighted, deaf and dementia visitors. Guide dogs in harness are permitted in the museum. The Rijksmuseum has specially adapted toilets. The audio tour is available in different languages. During your visit to the museum, you can also visit the café, RIJKS Restaurant and Rijksmuseum Shop.
Holland above Amsterdam
Noord Holland, the province in which Amsterdam is located. This province however , has many other wonderful cities with old historic centres. These towns showcase historic sites, including remains from the Golden Age. A number of towns are well known amongst tourists, such as Volendam, Marken, Edam, Zaandam and Alkmaar. However, other towns are as beautiful if not more beautiful. If interested in Golden Age heritage, consider to visit Hoorn, Enkhuizen Schagen, Bergen and the De Pijp for your visit. For more information, visit the website www.hollandbovenamsterdam.com
Every city, museum, painting and monument of The Golden Age is different and has a story to tell . There have never been this many opportunities to experience The Golden Age, see work of Rembrandt van Rijn and learn about other artists from that period. Netherlands to learn and see a lot of the Golden Age and to know Rembrandt van Rijn. The year-long programme provides an extraordinary opportunity to explore Holland!