Amsterdam never ceases to charm and fascinate no matter how many times you visit. The major attractions of the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank’s House and a variety of canal cruises get star billing on your ‘to do’ list, but once you get those over with, take time to check out Museum Van Loon. Here lies a spectacular house-museum in the Amsterdam canal district – not necessarily a secret but not over run either. It’s gorgeous!
Built in 1672 and acquired by the Van Loon family (Dutch East India Company fame) in 1884, it’s brimming with period pieces and family portraits that combine to showcase the “Golden Age of the Netherlands” and the cultural heritage of the Dutch elites. It feels like you’re getting in behind the scenes.
How fabulous is this central staircase – the glorious bannister, the stunning chandelier and exquisite stucco relief on the ceiling and walls (also throughout the house)? It’s so gracious with so much to admire, that you have to be careful not to lose your footing.
There are some eye-catching pieces that will bring you to a stop and call you to take in all their detail.
The bedrooms have highly patterned wall fabric paneling that match the bed coverings with great affect. These rooms make you want to jump the rope and take a snooze in all that luxe.
The rear of the house opens on to a private garden leading on to the Coach House holding some original carriages, liveries and harnesses. It’s façade is really fabulous and hardly what you’d expect a coach house to look like.
Quite unexpected in a city of canals, is the intimate geometric garden and it’s sun dials. It has a personal and peaceful feel about it.
The family still occupies the top two floors of the house but has opened these lower levels to visitors. Soak up the grandeur of life in the Golden Age of the Netherlands in a visit here – it’s a unique opportunity to get up close and personal to an age long gone.