With huge popularity and turnout among visitors, the Rijksmuseum is renowned in Amsterdam and the whole of Netherlands. It is the national Dutch museum of Amsterdam and houses a huge collection of artworks by eminent artists like Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Vermeer, etc. Located on the Museumplein in Amsterdam, this museum is a testimony to the rich culture and history of the Netherlands. For visitors, private Rijksmuseum tour programs are the best way to enjoy the magnificence of this museum. Below are some of the interesting and informative facts about the Rijksmuseum.
The Rijksmuseum was first opened in 1800 as the Nationale Kunstgalleri (National Art Gallery) in The Hague, which was later shifted to Amsterdam in 1808. The decree of the King of Netherlands, Louis Bonaparte, who was the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, opened Rijksmuseum to the public. Formerly known as the Royal Museum, it was first located in the Royal Palace and later moved to Trippenhuis in 1817. However, this location also seemed to be unsuitable for accommodating the vast collection of artworks with many valuable pieces moved to The Hague’s Mauritshuis.
The construction of the new Rijksmuseum building began in 1863 with a contest held for the design. However, the contest was unable to procure any suitable designs for building the museum. Yet another contest held in 1875, led to the current design being implemented for the building, which was made by the Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers. The construction began in 1876 and incorporated the Dutch neo-Renaissance style along with a mix of neo-Gothic elements. Rijksmuseum finally opened to the public in 1885.
The Rijksmuseum hosts more than one million historically valuable artworks. The key feature of this museum is the exhibiting of the masterpiece works of art from the Dutch Golden Age. Currently, about 8000 of these objects are put on display in the museum. Along with the works of Dutch masters like Rembrandt, Frans Hals, etc., the Rijksmuseum also features a section dedicated to Asian arts that includes numerous Japanese prints and Chinese porcelain works.
The Rijksmuseum building has a size of 323,000 square feet with about 130,000 square feet totally allocated for the exhibition space. The museum has four floors with a total walking distance of about 1.5 kilometers across its 80 galleries. It is said that the research library in Rijksmuseum is the largest library in the Netherlands. It contains an immense collection of text and other references related to art from around the world.