The Rijksmuseum — Photo courtesy of Markus WürfelThe internationally renowned Rijksmuseum reopened to the public on April 13, 2013 after an extensive ten-year renovation. The Rijksmuseum, located on Amsterdam's Museumplein, set out to restore architect Pierre Cuypers’ original layout and ensure the museum is up-to-date with modern times.
The head architects were Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz from Seville, Spain. Jean-Michel Wilmotte, known for his work in the Louvre in Paris, helped design and furnish the galleries. The renovation, one of the most substantial and noteworthy ever undertaken by a museum, cost a total of €375 million.
The new layout, which spans 80 galleries and 1.5 kilometers, allows visitors to travel through time and view 800 years of Dutch history, starting in the 1200s and ending with present day. The collection boasts around one million items, 8,000 of which are related to history and art.
Cuypers Library — Photo courtesy of Iwan Baan. Image Courtesy of RijksmuseumIn addition, the Dutch national museum offers other new facets and features. For instance, the Asian collection is now exhibited in the new Asian Pavilion. Furthermore, for the first time ever, the library is open to visitors. The library, the largest and oldest art historical library in the country, is one of the best-preserved areas of the building, with many of the original decorations and designs still intact.
The Great Hall — Photo courtesy of Jannes Linders. Image courtesy of RijksmuseumOther original ornaments have been returned to the Gallery of Honor (a hall that displays masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Jan Steen), the Front Hall, the Night Watch Gallery and the stairwells. The color scheme, inspired by Cuypers’ initial ideas, is absolutely vibrant and beautifully striking. The gardens have even been redesigned to match some of the styles Cuypers once had in place. As you explore the premises, you will truly feel the museum’s motto, “a feel for beauty, a sense of time.”