Several sites worth visiting in Amsterdam speak to the tolerance of the Dutch people. Our Lord of the Attic Museum, the Amsterdam Resistance Museum, and the Anne Frank House Museum all highlight Dutch courage in the face of adversity.
Amsterdam Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder (Our Lord of the Attic Museum)
A fascinating glimpse into a nearly perfectly preserved Dutch Golden Age (17th century) home, complete with a Catholic Church in the attic. The tour starts with a short film about the advent of Protestantism in Holland, and the remarkable bloodless religious revolution which lead directly to the religious tolerance exhibited through the centuries by the Dutch. Walking through the many different levels in the conjoined houses, you are immersed in Amsterdam of the past, with box beds, an old kitchen, privies, and a wealth of information about the families and businesses that inhabited these spaces. The journey culminates in the attic of three houses, stitched together to create a beautiful, jewelry box-sized church. Looking out the attic windows, you’re met with incredible vistas of the city, and can easily feel transported through the centuries. The museum recently expanded, with a lovely cafe to take a rest, re-energize, and prepare for your next stop. As you leave, the small gift shop is worth a quick looksee.
The Verzetsmuseum (Amsterdam Resistance Museum)
Continuing a historical journey of Dutch tolerance and steadfastness in adversity, this museum offers a detailed timeline of the conditions in pre-WW2 Netherlands that allowed far-right, fascist political parties to flower, and the German advance that resulted in the occupation of The Netherlands from 15 May 1940 until the final liberation of Amsterdam 5 May 1945. The museum is chronologically laid out, offering deeply personal stories via eyewitness accounts, remembrances, and artifacts of the horrors inflicted on the populace by the Nazi regime. The exhibits also explore Queen Wilhelmina’s government-in-exile, and the heroic and courageous resistance of the majority of the Dutch population as the fascists in charge continually tried to tighten their grip and compel compliance. The museum includes a children’s area, in which you can follow the history of several children and their families – a wrenching journey, but highly personalized and well-worth the extra time to explore, even without a child with you.
One other section of the museum briefly details the Dutch colonization of the East Indies, including the negative and positive results. As you leave, do explore the small gift shop – it includes a wealth of books as well as other items to encourage further understanding. The cafe next door to the museum, Cafe Plancius, offers a discount on a hot beverage and slice of apple pie with your museum ticket, as well as a full menu if you are feeling peckish after your museum visit.
The Anne Frank House Museum
The most poignant museum dedicated to the memory of the victims of intolerance, as well as the courage of those who resist evil, the Anne Frank House is also the most visited. Part of the museum’s mission statement reads: “It is our objective to make young people aware of the dangers of antisemitism, racism, and discrimination, and the importance of freedom, equal rights, and democracy.” This mission has renewed urgency, and is well-worth a visit.
Renovated and expanded in 2018, the museum offers an optional educational presentation for an extra €5 per ticketed individual – well-worth the extra 30 minutes to hear an Amsterdammer’s viewpoint, as well as ponder Anne and her family’s timeline, shown in photographs, and hear an enhanced description of the space you’re about to walk through. After the presentation, you head directly into the front house, as well as the secret Annex, where Anne and her family went into hiding, assisted by the employees who worked for Otto Frank (the hiding place is above the storage area for Otto Frank’s business).
Even knowing Anne’s story, we were both surprised by things we learned while exploring the space. The museum does not allow photography, but does sell books with photos and information on Anne’s story. After the powerful walk through the living spaces left exactly as Otto Frank found them when he returned from concentration camp incarceration (the only person from the group who survived), you see three other exhibits: Diary Room, Tangible Memories, and Reflections on Anne Frank, so make sure you have enough time and emotional fortitude to fully experience the entire museum.
The gift shop has an extensive collection of written materials, as well as postcards and more, and the cafe has brilliant, soothing views of the Prinsengracht and canals, as well as great coffee and a selection of snacks. Note that tickets can be purchased 2 months to the visit day online, so be sure to order your tickets right when they are released.
Better yet, ask Dragon In Your Pocket to hand-craft your visit and exploration of The Netherlands – we book tickets, lodging, entertainment, and meals for you! Contact us today.
Practical Tour Information
MUSEUM ONS’ LIEVE HEER OP SOLDER (Our Lord in the Attic Museum) Address: OUDEZIJDS VOORBURGWAL 38, AMSTERDAM Hours: Open: Monday through Saturday from 10 am till 6 pm., Sunday from 1 pm till 6 pm. Closed on King’s Day (a Dutch national holiday). Prices: Adults, € 12.50, Children 5 – 17, € 6.00, and Children 0 – 4, free. Also free with IAMSTERDAM card. No pre-booking necessary, unless you would like a guided tour.
VERZETSMUSEUM (Amsterdam Resistance Museum)
Address: Plantage Kerklaan 61 1018 CX Amsterdam Hours: Mon to Fri 10 am – 5 pm, Sat / Sun 11 am – 5 pm. Prices: Adults: €11.00, Children 7-16 years old: €6.00, Family ticket 26.00, City pass (IAMSTERDAM card): free, Museum pass: free. No pre-booking necessary, unless you request a personal tour.
ANNE FRANK HOUSE MUSEUM
Address: Westermarkt 20, 1016 DK Amsterdam Hours: 1 November – 1 April: daily from 09:00 to 19:00, Saturdays from 09:00 to 22:00, 1 April – 1 November: daily 09:00 to 22:00 Prices: Adults, €10.50, Aged 10-17, €5.50, Aged 0-9, €0.50. NOTE: Tickets only available online. Tickets are released for sale 2 months to the day before the tour date.
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