The Amsterdam History Museum chronicles the rich history and cultural life of Amsterdam, from its humble beginnings as a small fishing town on the Amstel River over seven centuries ago, to this now prominent, modern day, international city and key trading port.
Located in an historical, restored and renovated city building that was once an orphanage, the museum has a diverse collection of artifacts which help you to appreciate the journey through the ages of the city of Amsterdam and its people.
The largest collection is from the period known as the Golden Age during the 17th century, when Amsterdam was considered one of the most affluent cities in the known world.
The museum has a large collection of paintings dating back to the 1800s, by a variety of Dutch artists including Rembrandt and Jan van der Heyden as well as many others who may not be quite so famous to visitors from outside Holland.
Leading into the main part of the museum is a covered laneway which previously separated the buildings housing male and female orphans. Here you will be impressed by the 15 large portrait paintings depicting Amsterdam's Civic Guards, painted during the 17th century.
There are several exhibits on display, based in chronological order, which features include archeological findings, photographs, porcelain and models. There is also an electronic map that gives a brief outline of Amsterdam's history from 1000 AD to 2000 AD and a detailed map created in 1538 showing the layout of the city.
Particularly interesting is some of the clothing on display dating back to medieval times. Many contemporary items are also shown, including reference to one of Amsterdam's sporting legends of the 1960s, the Ajax's football team.
There are two main food service areas, a small café called Café't Mandje, and the main restaurant, serving a wide selection of food, called David & Goliath.
Many of the exhibitions are interactive and supported with video and translations in English.
Amsterdam has a rich history and this museum certainly does a very good job of informing the visitor of the significant role it has played on the global stage since its inception.
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