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Willet-Holthuysen Museum

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Place Details

Name: Willet-Holthuysen Museum

Rating: 4.5 / 5

City: Amsterdam

Country: Netherlands

Address: Herengracht 605, 1017 CE Amsterdam

Phone Number: +31 06 020 523 1822

Website: Visit the Website

Hours of Operation: Monday – Sunday: 10am-5pm


About Willet-Holthuysen Museum

Tucked away on Amsterdam’s grand Herengracht canal, the Willet-Holthuysen Museum is an undiscovered gem of spiraling staircases and gabled façades in this city. Housed in a richly decorated canal-side mansion, it’s a portal to the plush life of the 19th-century Dutch aristocracy, showcasing a stunning collection of silverware, ceramics, and paintings within its Rococo walls.

For our readers who meticulously map out their sojourns, the Willet-Holthuysen is an essential pin on your itinerary. Willet-Holthuysen Museum is not just a visit. It’s an excursion into the quiet grandeur of Dutch domestic opulence.

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Regional Guides

Welcome to the historical Willet-Holthuysen House, which derives its name from Abraham Willet and Louisa Holthuysen, the canal house’s final private inhabitants.

Upon Louisa’s passing in 1895, she bequeathed this grand residence, along with their extensive collections of art and literature, to Amsterdam. Her intention was for their home to be transformed into a museum.

Willet-Holthuysen House Grand Staircase
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Louisa’s generous donation ensures that the Willet-Holthuysen House remains accessible for public enjoyment and exploration today. This building was constructed in the 17th century and was home to over twenty distinct families.

Each family that resided within its walls has imparted a unique touch to the rooms of the property, a legacy carried on by those who curated the canal house after it became a museum.

Today, visitors can observe an interior that presents an eclectic mix of styles, heavily influenced by the opulent Neo-Louis XVI redesign undertaken by the Willet-Holthuysens.

This residence is brimming with narratives, and these tales are showcased across its first floor in various chambers. Guests can uncover these stories in written form or opt for an auditory experience via our audio guide.

The Amsterdam Museum team is working with researchers to augment existing displays with fresh insights and diversified viewpoints in the forthcoming years. Every six months, the Willet-Holthuysen House curates a novel exhibition where local artists, collectors, influential figures, and entities from Amsterdam interact with the establishment’s rich history and myriad collections and tales.

Willet-Holthuysen Garden

Manicured formal garden at Willet-Holthuysen Museum Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The story of the echoing footsteps in the tranquil escapes of the Willet-Holthuysen garden. This exquisite green space tells tales of 18th-century opulence, fire-scarred coachhouses, museums, and horse-drawn carriages roaming the picturesque streets of Amsterdam.

In today’s breakneck pace of life, finding green oases within urban landscapes is paramount. But none capture the imagination as utterly as the historic garden at the heart of the Willet-Holthuysen Museum. This captivating estate is an escape from bustling city life and a gateway into the rich tapestry of Amsterdam’s past.

The present form of the garden, a delightful sight for city dwellers and tourists alike, came to life in 1972. It materialized from the grand vision of dedicated museum curators, who sought to pay tribute to the grandiose garden designs by the illustrious French architect of the 18th century, Daniel Marot.

Historic Willet-Holthuysen Museum garden oasis in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Daniel’s creations were a testament to his artistry, blending natural beauty with decadent aristocracy. The Willet-Holthuysen garden sought to encapsulate this exquisite Marot magic within its intricate landscaping.

Read Also: Museums in Amsterdam to Visit

Dining Room

Willet-Holthuysen Drawing Room
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Imagine stepping into a room where the walls resonate with stories of the past – narratives depicted through exquisite artwork. The Willet-Holthuysens’ Drawing Room welcomes guests with awe-inspiring portraits, mesmerizing porcelain, elegant glassware, and an exquisite silverware collection.

This art collection, long regarded as Abraham’s masterpiece, surprisingly owes its assemblage to the aesthetic understanding of Louisa Willet-Holthuysen herself. Amid the scintillating glow of the precious porcelain, glass, and silverware in the display cabinets, the narrative of this distinctive couple unravels.

Given its long lineage of inhabitance, the Willet-Holthuysen House enjoys a delectable mélange of architectural and interior styles. Each phase of occupation has left its mark, courtesy of several conservators, culminating in an interior that’s a grand display of style amalgamation. It’s truly one of the best things to do in Amsterdam for a blend culture, history, and aesthetics.

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