Ever dream of living in a 17th century painting? Step into The Dutch Golden Age in Amsterdam to experience the colorful past. From exploring grand estates featuring sprawling gardens and exquisite art to learning about the people and customs of the period, discover how you can tour a world long gone.
1. Exploring Amsterdam’s Dutch Golden Age: A Historical Guide
Amsterdam’s Dutch Golden Age was a period of unprecedented change, growth and prosperity that had lasting effects on the city and its people. A visit to Amsterdam today will still bear witness to its glorious past, with many of the unique structures and attractions that were born during this period still standing proud.
Have an incredible journey back into Amsterdam’s history by exploring the following historical landmarks:
- Vrijburg Palace: Built in 1620, Vrijburg Palace is a striking example of Dutch Renaissance architecture originally designed for the wealthy Dutch merchant, Willem de Ruyter. Today, the palace is open to the public, with the interior housing a fascinating collection of 17th century furniture and decorative arts.
- Museum Geelvinck Hinlopen House: Located in the Jordaan area of the city, this gorgeous 18th century home is now a magnificent museum. Check out the beautiful Dutch furniture and artworks inside and admire the exquisitely maintained gardens situated in the back.
- The Golden Bend of the Herengracht Canal: Named after the wealthy shareholders that financed its construction, the Herengracht Canal is a stunning 8-kilometer canal filled with remarkable merchant houses, architecture, and scull boats.
There’s no better way to appreciate Amsterdam’s past than to explore its Dutch Golden Age landmarks. Each corner of the city unfurls a different slice of history, ensuring every trip to Amsterdam is an enjoyable and educational experience to remember.
2. Follow in the Footsteps of Rembrandt, Spinoza and Vermeer
Amsterdam is a destination that is steeped in history, culture and art. It is home to three of the most influential and impactful Dutch figures of all time; Rembrandt, Spinoza and Vermeer.
- Rembrandt, the portrait painter, was a true revolutionary. A master of light and shadow, he captured the emotion and character of his sitters with an unprecedented insight. Visit the Rijksmuseum, to view a cross-section of his absolutely arresting works that no words could adequately describe.
- Spinoza, the rational philosopher, exposed the world to new enlightenment through his innovative teachings. His modernist, forward-thinking views challenged beliefs and asserted the power of the individual. Stop by the Spinozahuis, to appreciate and gain insight into the mind of this brilliant thinker.
- Vermeer, the renowned painter, established an illustrious presence both nationally and internationally. His iconic style and captivating works of art have earned him international fame and have been replicated time and time again. Visit the Vermeer Centrum Delft, to wonder at his mesmerizing works.
So, as you explore the city of Amsterdam, follow in the footsteps of these illustrious figures for an enlightening journey. Pay homage to the works of these incredible Dutch artists and philosopher and discover the story behind a city whose art and culture will forever be remembered.
3. Discovering Dutch Art and Architecture from the 17th Century
The landscape of the Netherlands in the 17th century, the Dutch Golden Age, was replete with beauty, diversity, and sophistication. During this time, Dutch art and architecture began to shine and was admired around the world. Here are just some of the key features of Dutch art and architecture from this unique era:
- Virtual Tour of Amsterdam: Travel back in time with a virtual tour of Amsterdam and experience the city’s Golden Age art and architecture through centuries-old monuments, golden sculptures, and breathtaking paintings that remain.
- New Amsterdam: Explore the vibrant colors of the epoch-altering style which blossomed in New Amsterdam at the time. Countless old-aged cafes and streetscapes were plastered with intricate, ornamented facades and decorated with intricate stone carvings.
- Canal Houses: As people drew away from rural lifestyles and began to move into the larger cities, extravagant canal houses began to sprout up. The use of stairs, colors, and moldings made these homes stand out, and numerous old canal houses can still be found in the city today.
- Decadent Dutch Museums: The most revered Dutch museums are home to some of the finest works of art created during the Dutch Golden Age. From the renowned paintings of Rembrandt and van Gogh to breathtaking sculptures and exquisite silverware, the Dutch sense of luxury and sophistication traces back through the centuries.
These are just a few of the many things to appreciate when it comes to Dutch art and architecture from the 17th century. Whether it’s through exploring the iconic landscape of Amsterdam or discovering the stunning canals which gloriously lined the streets, there is much to cherish from this compelling period of Dutch history.
4. The Best Ways to Experience the Dutch Golden Age in Amsterdam
The Dutch Golden Age painted a portrait of wonder and elegance to the world. Amsterdam was at the very center of this time, and to this day retains vestiges of the cultural revolution and grandeur of the past. Here are some of the best things to do for a peek into the Dutch Golden Age in Amsterdam:
- Visit the Rembrandt House Museum: Wildly regarded as the grand old master of Dutch art, a visit to the Rembrandt House Museum gives you an insight into the world of this legendary painter. The house holds an extensive collection of the artist’s self-portraits, etchings, drawings, and paintings.
- Explore the Canal Ring: The Canal Ring is a collection of 17th-century canals near the bustling city center. This serene and picturesque location inspired many of the Dutch painters of Golden Age and still glimmers with a timeless beauty.
- Take a canal cruise: No exploration of Amsterdam is complete without a canals cruise. The tour will take you between the grandeur of 300-year-old gabled facades and past UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all along the royal route led by a local guide.
- Aside from these entries in the itinerary, Amsterdam is home to one of the world’s most celebrated art galleries – the Rijksmuseum. Since its opening in 1809, this gallery has served as the city’s premier venue for art and is also home to the finest of Dutch masterpieces. In the sculpture garden of the museum you’ll also find contemporary works that celebrate the Dutch Golden Age. And this time-travel to the Dutch Golden Age isn’t complete until you visit the historic Jordaan neighbourhood, a preservation of colourful Dutch architecture, merchants, and eateries. With each of these, you’ll be getting a little closer to the Dutch Golden Age. The Dutch Golden Age is still alive and well in Amsterdam, with countless effortlessly elegant architecture, exquisite art, and rich cultural heritage waiting to be explored. While the time of Rembrandt and the VOC may be long gone, its influence still lingers in one of the most charming cities in Europe. So, why not come and experience the past through the present yourself today?