Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Amsterdam Museum

The Amsterdam Museum visit was on our last full day and well worth the trip. It was a tram trip with out too much hassle. I hour tram tickets under 3 euro and tram 4 virtually took us door to door.

The Museum is situated within the 1634 Amsterdam Orphanage. The main attraction of the Museum is the DNA exhibition which takes you through the history of Amsterdam with sound, image and movement plus relicts of past years. It depicts the growth of the city from 1000AD and how the land formations changed with the construction of canals. From the building of a rich trading centre of Europe, Amsterdam became the centre of world trade. The exhibition tells how not only Amsterdam became the centre of trade but also of art, literature and music. The museum houses, like the RIJKS Museum, many great paintings from the Dutch Masters. These are huge paintings and again I've taken a small portion as a vignette of the detail.

Thorough this narrow arch, you enter what was Amsterdam's orphanage which at times cared for as many 1000 homeless children.
Crests from families of the 1600s
This religious partial statue was located in one of the canals.
As Amsterdam renounced catholic faith, many of the images were defaced and thrown into the waters to be discovered centuries later.
This medieval shoe lay dormant and protected in the mud below the pylon footings which created the base for the buildings of Amsterdam. After many hundreds of years, it still retained its laces and showed very little deterioration.
This link to a trailer gives you an impression of what the Amsterdam DNA permanent exhibition is all about - certainly a great experience for us to understand the cities history.

This painting depicts some of Amsterdam's influential people over the centuries.
Looking down on Napoleon.

Could the early Dutch be the first of our modern Hipsters?

Pick the detail section from the painting above.

Governess' of the orphanage
Pick the detail section from the painting above.

The museum had a special exhibition of the fashion designs of Puck and Hans who as a bloke with no fashion sense at all, I have no idea who they might be. What I do know is the the colours and designs were very interesting to photograph. 

OK!!!! I stole this from the internet and now I'm wiser.
The fashion label ‘Puck & Hans’ was created by Puck Kroon (1941) and Hans Kemmink (1947). Their career began in 1967 when they opened their first shop in The Hague. In 1971 a shop in Rotterdam was added, and in 1974 the first Amsterdam shop was opened on the Rokin. They were the first in the Netherlands to sell clothing by Kenzo and a young Jean Paul Gaultier, alongside their own creations. Puck & Hans were well-known for their hand-painted silk blouses and belts made from toilet seat hinges. They were also responsible for the popularity of pinstripes. Their clientele included Loes Luca, Princess Irene and Marina Abramovic, but less famous customers also enjoyed buying a unique ‘Puck & Hans’. Even today they are still well known in the fashion world.

We left Amsterdam in two minds as to what we thought of it. Love the history and the museums. The canal system is amazing. The movement of traffic with bike lanes, trams and cars all seem to work very efficiently. Maybe ist something that Melbourne needs to look at in depth and maybe our CBD is getting closer to the Amsterdam example.

Amsterdam is a party town, particularly in the red light district where we stayed and maybe that's a good thing in that it harnesses the boisterous behaviour in that district. Its a little sad to wake in the morning to venture into the streets and see broken bottles and rubbish on the walkways. One morning as we sat have breakfast outside on the canal we saw an office chair and a bike wheel float by.
Once moving further into the shopping and residential areas and parks, Amsterdam takes on a more relaxing feel. I guess all big cities have contrasts to suit all.

Leon's obliquitory bike photo
We are now back in Brussels with Andrew for four days. Yesterday the hired a car to help move him from his old place in Wavre about 30 mins out of Brussels. His new residence is in Brussels which will give him more options to enjoy the city, its food, and culture.

Yesterday in Brussels was a shopping day for Sue and I and then relaxing in the bars with Andrew and his fiancé Ashley who arrived from England to spend some time with us. 

Today I hope to check out "AutoWorld", a massive vintage and classic car museum in Brussels, then tomorrow we catch up with "Ladybird" who is a fellow Blogger whom we have been in contact with for many years, yet not met. This should be very exciting as we probably feel that we know each others lives very well within the "Bloggers-sphere". (is that a word?)

After our fourth night in Brussels, we rent a car and will drive aimlessly to the Loire Valley via Reims, Fontainebleau and Orleans. More to come.


  1. beautiful place to visit.. no idea when we could make it...

    1. It was an interesting Museum Krishna. We like to understand the history of the cities we visit.

  2. Hi Sue and Leon, We did it! We finally met! I had a great time this afternoon. Hope we can do this again one day! Thanks for everything and most of all for your delightful company! I have a sore throat now ... too much talking ... I guess. ;)

    1. A wonderful day Martine and thank you for showing a little something of your Brussels. A memory we can take home with us.

  3. Been there, done that :-) That bike wheel looks a bit bent!!! Glad you got to meet Ladybird. Diane

    1. Re-Amsterdam, yes as you said "Been there, Done that". No need for a second time. Just crossed the border in to France and Reims, from Brussels.


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