Leiden in January

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted some photos of my travels in the Netherlands! A good way to get back into it with the start of the new year.

This month, I took a day trip to Leiden to visit the National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden). Aside from visiting this very interesting museum, I also had a customary walk around the city. The day was extremely chilly, but the sun shone bright and the skies were a clear blue – something to be happy about here in the winter! I love the cobblestone sidewalks and the little canals in Leiden – definitely a beautiful city to visit.

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Here’s to the start of a new year! 🙂

Experiencing a Night of Museums

This Saturday, I finally got to attend one of the best cultural events that takes place in The Hague annually – Museumnacht! This is a night which opens up over 40 cultural places of interest in the city, ranging from art galleries to film houses and historical museums. Not only can you experience art, architecture and history until the early morning, but each place had special surprises for the night – from ice cream at the Mauritshuis to a Cirque du Soleil theme at the Escher Museum!

I had never properly been to a museum in this city before Saturday (shock horror), so I visited three of the most popular ones in one go!

1) Museum de Gevangenpoort (‘Prison Gate Museum’)

Even though this was the smallest museum of the three I visited, it was definitely the most fun! We were taken on a short tour of the torture room and prison rooms, and given a lot of interesting history about some people who were held there. There was even a very realistic depiction of a man that had been formerly imprisoned in one of the prison rooms! For each room we visited, we were asked a question to test our knowledge – if we got it right, we got a chocolate coin! It was a great start to the night.

2) Het Mauritshuis

Next stop was the very famous Mauritshuis! The building and architecture of the museum itself was exquisite, as was the art inside. I was able to see well-known pieces such as ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Vermeer and ‘The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp’ by Rembrandt, and so many other beautiful paintings and sculptures. There was also a special British Royal Collection featuring 22 Dutch genre paintings. This museum was definitely a wonderful visit, made even better by free ice-cream at the end!

3) Escher in Het Paleis

Finally, I visited the stunning Escher museum. This was a building I had been passing by for the past few years I have been in The Hague, and the museum was even more beautiful on the inside – perhaps because it is a winter palace! The museum had been transformed into a circus theme on the night, which went perfectly with Escher’s amazing optical illusionary art and the Halloween festivities. Aside from Escher’s creations, the main highlight for me were the chandelier sculptures – they were exquisite! A perfect end to a night of culture.