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Beautiful Museums: Mauritshuis, a World-Class Museum in The Hague

Posted on Mar 29, 2024 by

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Mauritshuis is a splendid art museum in The Hague (Den Haag), the political centre of the Netherlands. The museum, showcasing an impressive world-class collection of Dutch paintings, is located in a 17th century building. If you visit The Hague, you have to pay a visit to Mauritshuis as well! The building itself is a work of art: old, squeaky floors, silk-covered walls, painted ceilings and golden details. Some rooms are so beautiful that you don’t know what to admire first: the decor or the paintings? Nowadays property of the government of the Netherlands and listed in the top 100 Dutch heritage sites, Mauritshuis was constructed between 1636 and 1641, and served as the residence of Johan Maurits, Prince of Nassau-Siegen, whose history is controversial because he was involved in the slave trade (like many of his time). The museum is acknowledging this and tries to educate visitors on Dutch history, with all its aspects.

Mauritshuis Girl with a Pearl Earring

Apart from its exquisite interior decor, the Mauritshuis building boasts remarkable architectural features typical of Dutch Golden Age architecture. This includes its distinctive facade, ornate gables, and the use of classical elements in its design.

Mauritshuis museum is home to over 250 Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century, from which the most renowned are the ”Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer and ”The Anatomy Lesson” by Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. But there are many others that will surprise and captivate your attention, like ”The Bull” by Paulus Potter and other works by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Rubens and, my favourite, Jan Steen. Watching these paintings is like a trip back in time, watching various aspects of life or entering the houses of Dutch families from the 17th century.

Compared to the famous museums in Amsterdam, the museums of The Hague are not crowded, and you can have a very relaxed visit, admiring the art at your own pace, without worrying that you have to make space for the next visitors. Even the Girl with a Pearl Earring is very accessible, and you can easily have your selfie with her without waiting in a queue 🙂 Next to the permanent collection, the museum organises various temporary exhibitions and programs, including multimedia tours, talks and workshops.

Mauritshuis Museum is in the Buitenhof area, close to The Hague’s Historic Museum and Binnenhof, and not far from the Central Station. It can take you about two hours to visit the museum (or more, if you take your time). Don’t forget to check out the gift shop when you leave, they have quite a few interesting items there (I was in love with the notebooks). The museum is wheelchair accessible, assistants have free entrance and service dogs are welcome!

If you want to read more information about the museum, check out Mauritshuis website (where you can also browse their collection online). And here are a few photos to give you a glimpse into the museum’s beauty:

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