In 1639, Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn took out a hefty morgage to purchase what is now known as the Rembrandthuis — the house of Rembrandt.
He bought the house — further financed by Saskia’s dowry — just before The Night Watch was commissioned.
This is where he lived and worked for almost 20 years — until chronic debt forced him to move to a flat at Rozengracht 184, in the Jordaan district — where he lived until his death in 1669.
The Rembrandthuis first opened as a museum in 1911. In 1998 an extension was built to house his work, and the house itself was restored to look as it did when Rembrandt still lived there. Researchers used his own paintings as their main source of information.
Consequently, a visit to the museum is like stepping into one of Rembrandt’s paintings.
Among the things on display in this magnificent 17th-century house: Rembrandt’s studio, as well as as a room containing all manner of things collected by Rembrandt — from art objects to seashells, and from drawings by other artists to weapons. The modern part of the museum houses 250 of the artist’s engravings, arrange by theme, including portraits, nudes (those of you who are visiting from America: relax, please), and landscapes.
The museum offers various extras: such as the obligatory shop, but also etching and paint preparation demonstrations.
A visit to the museum takes about 30-45 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time for other activities. The Rembrandtplein is close to just about anything in downtown Amsterdam.
Rembrandthuis Address and Information
“The Rembrandt House Museum consists of the 17th century old house and studio of Rembrandt and a modern building which houses the entrance, the museum shop and the two exhibition rooms. The modern wing of the museum is fully accessible for disabled people. Rembrandt’s former house and studio, however, are not, due to the many thresholds and stairs.” – Rembrandthuis website
How much time?
“You should allow 30 to 45 minutes, if you just want to visit Rembrandtâ€™s home. A visit to the house, the museum’s collection of Rembrandt prints and the temporary exhibition will take you about an hour.” – Rembrandthuis website
Every day from 10 AM till 5 PM.
The museum is closed on New Yearâ€™s Day.
How to get to the Rembrandthuis
The Google map above shows the location of the museum, as well as these spots:
Tram lines 9 and 14 stop at Waterlooplein (see Google map above)
Every metro line from and to Central Station: Nieuwmarkt Station, Hoogstraat exit (see Google map above)
15-20 minute walk from Central Station
Rembrandthuis — the website requires flash and makes entirely too much use of popup windows. Too bad, as the information is fascinating.
Where to see The Night Watch and other paintings by Rembrandt.
Across the street from the museum is Gary’s Muffins. American-sized cups of coffee, fresh muffins, good selection of teas.
When the weather is good, spend some time at the terrace on the far side of the bridge. Voice of experience: personally, we’d never eat at the corner eatery closer to the museum.
The famous Waterlooplein fleamarket is just around the corner from the museum.
So is City Hall, called “Stopera” — a contraction of the Dutch words for City Hall and Opera Building. At the far end of the monstrosity is Cafe Dantzig. Avoid it like the plague — unlike poor service does not bother you.
Instead, with your back to Cafe Dantzig, cross the bridge and continue into Staalstraat. At either end you will some nice cafés and eateries, as well as Puccini Bomboni (freshly-made, rich chocolate bonbons), as well as a favorite photo hotspot: Groenburgwal with the tower of the Zuiderkerk.
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