My easter Monday day-trip took me to Haarlem only a whisker away from Amsterdam. Weather was pretty uninviting as I did sightseeing under grey clouds and with constant drizzle (well, until I made my way back to Amsterdam when it turned better). So off to the museums! I managed three (all covered by the museums pass) and saw some other landmarks like the restored Molen van Adriaan (windmill), the Grote Kerk (cathedral), stadhuis (city hall) and the Amsterdam gate (original city gate from the 1400’s). Pleasant day trip.
A little bit of history: Haarlem is the capital of North Holland with some 160,000 inhabitants. Historically the city has been pretty important and used once to be the second largest. Fortunes came and went with shipping tolls, breweries and textile trade o the plus side but also several big fires, Spanish invasion, the pest and Amsterdam taking over trade wise. Today it is a vibrant commuter city with plenty of gastronomy, theatres and even a Philharmonie.
Teylers museum: The oldest museum in holland established in 1778 focusses mainly a science and natural history. Currently they are showing the ‘monster animal’ exhibition displaying real and fictional beasts from yeti to the loch ness monster. Overall, not something i take a huge interest in yet still a nice building with some impressive halls.
Frans Hals museum of fine art: named after the dutch golden age painter frans hals who lived and worked in the city who pioneered the visible brushstroke technique (previously deemed a flaw) and advanced the genre of portraits. His clients were mainly the rich & famous of the time (well, who else can afford it). the museum displays his works as well as many other artist that were influenced by him, also modern art and paintings acquired by local donations.
Haarlem historical museum: A peep back in time, as the city museum tries to preserve the cultural history of town. I liked most the outfit of a pest doctor – looks like this costume inspired the well known Scream mask …