Described on its official website as 'where Bible, art and culture meet in a monument full of history', Amsterdam's biblical museum is housed in two Dutch Classicist style Canal Houses alongside the Herengracht Canal.
The first use of the buildings as a museum dates back to 1851 when the Reverend Leendert Schouten invited the public to view his personal collection, a highlight of which included the first printed Bible in the Low Countries from 1477.
Despite its name and origin, scripture is not the only thing on display within the museum. An impressive collection of Egyptian antiquities collected by Schouten to provide evidence of the religious life in ancient Egypt sit alongside detailed and intricate models of biblical temples. The model of the Tabernacle is particularly worth a look, constructed as far as possible to specifications laid out in the biblical text.
For those less interested in things ecclesiastical, the museum still provides an interesting architectural stop off with its classical facade and perhaps two of the best-preserved antique kitchens in the Netherlands.
A further highlight is a ceiling painted by the artist Jacob de Wit. Renowned for his religious scenes, de Wit used canvases set within the oak beams of the ceiling in the rear hall to depict a series of theological events.
For anyone interested in de Wit's work it should be noted that since a year 2000 restoration of the building, the ceiling has been complemented by a second of the artist's compositions on display in another part of the museum.
To find the Bijbels Museum head to Spui on tram lines 1,2 and 5. Once there in addition to the exhibitions a basic cafeteria provides tea, coffee and other refreshments with a pleasant view of the inner courtyard garden.
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