Canal House Museums, Amsterdam
In 2010, Amsterdam’s picturesque canal district was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Take a stroll through Amsterdam’s charming Canal District and discover the city's hidden gems. The elegant canal-side mansions are home to some fascinating museums with intruiging design and collections ranging from stately to uber-modern. Here are our top picks for Architecture Groups.
Het Grachtenhuis (Museum of the Canals)
Het Grachtenhuis is a tribute to the Canal District, with multimedia exhibitions showing how the now grand district is really an engineering marvel built on swamp land. From here, visitors can easily explore other museums housed in canal mansions and the museum is even equipped to help them plan their itineraries.
Museum Van Loon
Step back through time into Amsterdam's sumptuous Golden Age. Van Loon is the only residence of its kind complete with an original stately carriage house! Among the most powerful 17th century families, the Van Loons belonged to the city's governing families and were among the founders of the mighty VOC – the Dutch East India Company back in 1602. Much of its original interior intact.
Museum of Bags and Purses
This historic museum built in 1664 boasts an impressive antique interior.
One of the eight leading fashion museums in the world and the only museum with such an extensive, specialised collection of bags and purses, taking visitors on a tour of the development of bags and purses from the sixteenth century to the present.
Built in 1687, this mansion house is beautifully preserved with highlights include the magnificent Blue Room, ornamental gardens and servants' quarters. The museum also offers a collection of historic paintings and luxurious antique objects.
Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic)
Visit one of Amsterdam's most unexpected museums. This looks like a typical 17th-century canal house, but there's a historical church hidden behind the classical facade. This clandestine church in the attic dates back to the time when Catholics were not permitted to openly practice their faith. The building is now a museum where you can admire grand chambers and remarkable exhibitions in addition to the hidden church.
A real mix of traditional and modern! The interior mixes the original architecture with modern chrome and glass. Housed in a centuries-old canal house, the photography museum exhibits all genres of photography, from fine art to documentary and historical to contemporary.