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Museums in Amsterdam

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Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s grandest and most popular museums. Its vast collection showcases iconic art and a wide variety of artefacts that reflect more than 800 years of Dutch and global history, including jaw dropping paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Van Gogh and countless more Dutch greats. With 80 galleries and 8000 objects on display, there’s never enough time to view the complete collection of treasures! Before you’re even inside the museum, you can enjoy the artistic whimsy of the sculpture-filled garden designed by Pierre Cuypers in 1901. Among the intricate topiaries, water features and colourful flowerbeds, an enormous wingnut tree looks over the play areas, installations and temporary exhibitions in the summer. And also its is only in Amsterdam would a national museum allow cyclists to speed right through it! The Rijksmuseum’s passageway connects the two halves of the atrium, with glass panels giving passers by a glimpse into the museum’s grand interior. The passage’s excellent acoustics make it popular among street musicians.
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Anne Frank House
Anne Frank is one of Amsterdam’s most well known former residents. The Anne Frank House at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam is where she lived in hiding with her family for more than two years during World War II. Now converted into a museum it contains a sobering exhibition about the persecution of the Jews during the war, as well as discrimination in general. The rooms at the Anne Frank House still portray the atmosphere of the period spent in hiding. Historical documents, photographs, film images and original objects that belonged to those in hiding and those who assisted them help illustrate the events that took place. Anne’s original diary and other notebooks are also on display in the museum.
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Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is one of the most popular museums in the world, attracting visitors from every corner of the globe. Naturally, this is in large part due to it housing the largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh – more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 of his letters. Having originally opened on Museumplein in 1973, the Van Gogh Museum has been expanded and modernised over the years, ensuring it's a truly cutting-edge exhibition and visitor space. For both locals and far-travelling visitors, the Van Gogh Museum is a unique and inspirational experience. Alongside the legacy of Vincent van Gogh's instantly recognisable impressionist works, such as his landscapes, self-portraits and still lifes – especially ‘Sunflowers’ – the museum provides opportunities to track the artist's development and compare his paintings to works by other artists from the 19th century – those who inspired him and those who drew inspiration from him.
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The Hermitage
The biggest branch of the world-famous Hermitage in Saint Petersburg can be found in Amsterdam. Discover top works from the Russian collection in changing exhibitions. The museum was established in the Amstelhof, a monumental building on the Amstel river, in 2009. The art collection of the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg had become so extensive that the museum decided to put a range of works on display in branches. The biggest of these can be found in Amsterdam. The Russian art was initially on display in a small building but the Hermitage in the Amstelhof opened its doors in 2009. Just a year later, the museum welcomed its one millionth visitor. The Hermitage is one of the top attractions in Amsterdam.
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Stedelijk Museum
A visit to the Stedelijk Museum takes the visitor on a journey through the last 150 years of art, presenting the best of modern art in Amsterdam. Iconic works by Karel Appel, Cézanne, Chagall, Marlene Dumas, Kandinsky, Edward Kienholz, De Kooning, Koons, Malevich, Matisse, Mondrian, Picasso, Pollock, Gerrit Rietveld, Warhol and many others are on show. The Stedelijk Museum’s design collection also traces the history of design from the turn of the last century to the present, showcasing furniture, ceramics, posters, jewellery and other objects.
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Netherlands Open Air Museum
Experience history in the Netherlands Open Air Museum (Nederlands Openlucht Museum). Special encounters, smells, images and stories evoke unforgettable memories of everyday life as it used to be.
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Museum De Waag
Museum De Waag brings city history to life! How did Deventer originate? Which inhabitants played a role in the history of the city? What did the river IJssel mean for the development of Deventer? Visitors to Museum De Waag receive answers to these questions in Flows through time. Deventer, city of the IJssel. This exhibition is on show from 23 June 2017 and tells the historical story of the city in five chapters. Specially developed 3D reconstructions and animations show how Deventer looked in the past.
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PSV Museum
Entrance 17 of Philips Stadium will take you to the PSV Museum where you can relive the most important events in the 100 years' history of PSV. A must-see for every PSV supporter, in fact, for every football fan.
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Philips Musuem
The old factory where Philips made his first incandescent lamp, has undergone extensive renovation and been extended to an interactive museum where heritage and innovation come together.
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De Alde Feanen National Park
De Alde Feanen’ national park, which is located between Leeuwarden and Drachten in Northern Friesland, as the largest amusement park in Europe. However, Henk de Vries, director of the nature protection organisation ‘It Fryske Gea’ (the Frisian landscape), and Henk Dijkstra, who is director of the ‘Frysk Lânboumuseum’ agricultural museum, believe doing so is sacrilege.
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Museum aan de Stroom
Visitors to Antwerp have been flocking to the hip Eilandje district, an old dockside neighbourhood, to visit the MAS | Museum aan de Stroom, which opened in 2011. This is where the city and the port – the second largest port in Europe even – converge. The stunning architecture and the museum collection are perfect examples of this. The MAS has a phenomenally large collection, which to date comprises about 500,000 items, including artworks and utensils. New objects are constantly being added to the collection. The museum uses its entire collection to weave a new narrative, based on five universal themes, on just as many floors. The MAS takes a closer look at power politics and world ports. At how food shaped and will shape today’s metropolises in the past, present and future. And at life and death, of people and gods, in the upper and under world. Moreover, the third floor and the walking boulevard host some fascinating and highly diverse temporary exhibitions.
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Zeeuws Museum
The Zeeuws Museum, a special museum focusing on the history of Zeeland, is located in the beautiful old abbey in the city center of Middelburg. Admire historic wall tapestries, beautiful regional costumes, and special finds from Zeeland. The collection of wall tapestries of the Provincial-Executive of Zeeland is the pride of the Zeeuws Museum. The provincial government of Zeeland commissioned a wall tapestry depicting the battle of Bergen op Zoom in 1591. When the tapestry was completed four years later, the Provincial-Executive of the province of Zeeland decided to commission more tapestries depicting naval battles in Zeeland. After a number of relocations during and after WWII, the tapestries have now been reunited at the Abbey of Middelburg.
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EcoHouse
EcoHuis is Antwerp’s green epicentre. Here you can find out how to build and live sustainably in the city. Visitors with green fingers learn how best to create their own ecological city garden and which animals and plants thrive in the city. Visit the Ecocafé for delicious treats and healthy snacks and juices as well as organic veggie meals.
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The Rubens House
In the heart of Antwerp is the home of Peter Paul Rubens, the famous 16th-17th--century Baroque painter. For four hundred years, he and his work have been a source of inspiration and a reference. And to think that he created the bulk of his work in this house. Rubens was a fan of Rafael’s, the Italian painter. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that in 1610, just as his idol, Rubens designed his own city palace. Near the Meir, which has always been a sought-after part of the city. This is the house where Rubens created his masterpieces, his children played in the garden and he received his high, noble and even royal guests. And in the meantime, a team were working hard on his paintings in the studio. At his peak, Rubens could not cope alone and led a team of professional artists.
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Houwerzijl Tea Museum
The tea factory and tea museum are housed in an old church and parsonage. Learn all there is to know about the production and different kinds of tea. The tearoom has the most extensive tea menu in the world, and there are different kinds of tea available in the tea shop.
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Kazerne Dossin
Kazerne Dossin is a very special place of remembrance for Belgium. As 'SS Sammellager Mecheln', the Dossin barracks was a waitingroom for death for more than 25,000 Jews and gypsies from Belgium and Northern France during the Second World War. A brand-new museum has been built to record the historical significance of this place for present and future generations and to illustrate themes like racism, exclusion and human rights. The combination of the human rights theme and the historical story of the Holocaust in Belgium makes Kazerne Dossin a project of European interest. The new museum was designed by leading architect and former Flemish Government Architect bOb Van Reeth.
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Toy Museum
The Toy Museum boasts one of the largest collections of toys in Europe. You'll find toys from all over the world, from early toys to modern. There's much more to a museum visit than just looking: you can play traditional games and relive historical events such as the Battle of Waterloo as if you had been there in person. Which of these toys did you play with yourself? And would young children still do so today? The museum brings memories of childhood flooding back for young and old.
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M-Museum Leuven
The museum displays old and new art inspired by Leuven’s versatility. The collection is mainly focused on the art production in Leuven and Brabant from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. It includes Constantin Meunier, Jef Lambeaux and Georges Minne. In addition to the permanent collection, M also presents temporary exhibitions of both old masters and contemporary artists. Discover the personalised offer for groups and families. The impressive architecture deserves special attention. Designed by Belgian top architect Stéphane Beel, the complex integrates historical buildings and contemporary architecture. Don’t miss the enclosed garden and roof terrace.
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Museum of Industry
Ghent is proud of its industrial past, and that makes the Museum of Industry a hotspot for many Ghent locals: a sight in Ghent that needs to be on your to-do list for your city trip. Much of the industrial heritage that bore witness to the first and second industrial revolutions was scrapped and demolished from the 1970s onwards. Ghent City Council has made efforts to preserve machines and objects. In the main exhibition “About people and machinery” the Museum of Industry tells the story of the industrial revolutions. In addition, the museum features two other exhibitions. “Three centuries of graphic industry” will show you the evolution of the printing industry over the past 300 years. In “From cotton plant to finished product” you will discover how cotton is processed as well as the different weaving methods.
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Dr Guislain Museum
The oldest mental asylum in Belgium, which dates back to 1857 is in Jozef Guislainstraat. Today it houses an absolutely fascinating museum. It was the visionary Dr Guislain who was one of the first to think of mentally ill people as patients with a right to humane treatment. The shame that was felt at the way psychiatric patients had been treated in the past was the impetus for founding the Dr Guislain Museum in Ghent in 1986. Dr Guislain Museum in Ghent aims to break down the many prejudices that still define what is ‘mentally ill’ and what is ‘normal’. Discover the permanent collection and find out about the history of psychiatry, as well as an international collection of outsider art or art brut. The temporary exhibitions are always great too.
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House of Alijn
The House of Alijn museum in Ghent puts the ordinary daily life of 20th-century people in the spotlight. This was once the ‘Children of Alijn hospice’. It is the only almshouse—a charitable institution where the old and sick were cared for—to have been preserved in Ghent. Traditions and rituals belong to the past and present. Daily routines and special events determine the rhythm of your life. During your weekend trip to Ghent, enjoy the customs, traditions and rituals at the House of Alijn museum that recall a recent or more distant past. Go ‘Back to the future’: rediscover your very first baby photos, marbles in the playground, your first love, the excitement of the summer holidays... The way we approach ‘occasions and emotions’ changes over time: it is both personal and universal. Find out that everyday life is anything but ordinary. Enjoy these collective memories in the lovely courtyard garden and a typical working-class pub. We recommend it!
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Design Museum Gent
Wild about design? Be sure to visit the Design Museum Gent. A modern, open building lurks behind a magnificent 18th-century façade. This impressive city residence in Rococo style was bought by the City of Ghent in 1922 and used it to house the Design Museum. The temporary exhibitions complement the magnificent permanent collection, from art nouveau to trends in contemporary design. Even if you don’t need to go, the toilet enclosure at the museum is well worth a visit. The bathroom wing was built in defiance after Design Museum Gent kept being refused the funds for expansion by Ghent City Council. When it did get a permit for a huge monumental work of art, a huge toilet roll with toilets hidden inside it, a message was added with a double meaning: ‘de pot op’. Literally it means “go to the loo” but what the expression really means colloquially is “go to hell”, giving the figurative finger to Ghent City Council.
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Ghent Belfry
Look up at the magical city skyline for a moment during your weekend trip in Ghent: you can’t miss it. The Belfry is the middle tower in the famous row of three, between St Bavo’s Cathedral and St Nicholas’ Church. A fiery dragon, the proud symbol and mascot of Ghent, guards the historic heart of the city. The Ghent Belfry symbolises the city’s prosperity and independence. The Cloth Hall, built onto the Belfry, was completed in 1907. The flamboyant Brabant Gothic style of the Cloth Hall is an ode to the industry to which Ghent owes so much. On the corner of the Cloth Hall is an old jailer’s house. Every Sunday morning you can hear the carillonneur at work between 11 am and 12 noon. And you can enjoy a carillon concert on the first Friday of each month from 8 to 9 pm. In the summer months, the concert takes place every Saturday night!
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Atomium
Unavoidable icon of Brussels en Belgium, important place for international tourism, unique creation in the history of architecture and emblematic vestige of the World fair in Brussels, the Atomium is today the most popular tourist attraction of Europe’s Capital. The Atomium was constructed for the first post-war universal world exhibition (EXPO 58) The nine spheres represent an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. They represent the faith one had in the power of science and moreover in nuclear power.
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Mini-Europe
Located at the foot of the Atomium, Mini-Europe is the only park where you can have a whistle-stop tour of Europe in a few short hours. A truly unique journey! Enjoy a stroll taking in the typical atmosphere of the most beautiful towns of the old Continent. The incomparable chimes of Big Ben welcome you to the heart of London. The gondolas and mandolins invite you to discover the charms of Venice. Follow the TGV high-speed train from Paris to the other end of France. You can make the models work yourself: the eruption of Vesuvius, the fall of the Berlin Wall, a bull-fight in Seville, the take off of the Ariane spaceship and many others. All in all, 350 models and sites with an unequalled level of craftsmanship. Visit also the European area, packed with interactive multimedia games and the exhibition.
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STAM - Ghent City Museum
The STAM is the ideal place to start your cultural holiday in Ghent, an unmistakeably contemporary building against a historic backdrop. Ghent is a city of every era, and the same applies to the modern Ghent City Museum: the 14th-century abbey, 17th-century convent and new 21st-century building all form part of the STAM. The STAM tells the story of Ghent from the Middle Ages to the present day, with imaginative collections and interactive multimedia. The past, present and future of the city are presented in a clear and interesting way: from mediaeval metropolis to city of knowledge and culture. The eye-catcher at Ghent City Museum, the STAM, is a gigantic aerial photograph of Ghent (measuring 300 m2!) that you are allowed to walk all over. Use the multimedia app to see Ghent in detail in four different centuries. ‘Views of Ghent’ shows a view of the city in 1534, maps from 1641 and 1912 and a contemporary aerial photograph. Ghent’s ‘arts quarter’ is not only home to impressive historic buildings, but also to quiet green spaces, parks and gardens where you can fully recharge your batteries.
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Museum of Fine Arts Ghent
The strength of the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK) in Ghent, one of the oldest museums in Belgium, lies in the varied nature of its collection, which is nothing short of remarkable. Never before have old masters and modernists hung side-by-side so perfectly as in this iconic museum building. At the end of the 18th century, Ghent was under French rule and many of the city’s art treasures were seized. Some of them can still be seen in the Louvre in Paris today. Rebellious Ghent wasn’t having any of it and slowly began to establish a wide-ranging art collection, searching for years to find an appropriate building. The ideal location was found in the building designed by the architect Van Rysselberghe in the Citadelpark, a museum with a fantastic feeling of spaciousness and a lot of light. The collection, which ranges from Hieronymus Bosch to Rubens and Magritte, has never been shown more attractively than it is today. It covers an enormous variety of paintings, statues, drawings, etchings and tapestries, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. An auditorium, a library, a children’s workshop and a brasserie turn the MSK into a contemporary, multipurpose complex where you can spend many a pleasant hour surrounded by beauty during your weekend trip to Ghent. Why not take a virtual peek inside the MSK now?
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SMAK Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art
Lovers of contemporary art absolutely can’t afford to miss a visit to the S.M.A.K. during their weekend in Ghent. The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, or S.M.A.K. for short (in Dutch), was founded in 1999 and is located opposite the MSK in a former casino building. The city of Ghent is known for its rebelliousness, and its contemporary art museum is every bit as dynamic and unconventional as Ghent itself. The collection is considered to be the most important collection of contemporary art in Flanders, with world-famous works of art from Belgium and abroad. Every four months, the museum exhibits a selection of these works in alternation with original, often daring exhibitions. Recover at leisure from the assault on your senses in the museum café. Under the inspiring leadership of the controversial curator and ‘art pope’ Jan Hoet, the former ‘contemporary art wing’ of the MSK was given its own museum, the S.M.A.K. The permanent collection at this museum for contemporary art includes top Belgian and international works of art by Cobra, pop art, minimal art, conceptual art and arte povera artists, who are now among the most famous artists in the world.
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Belgian Chocolate Village
Near the Basilica, the Belgian Chocolate Village is one of the largest museums dedicated to chocolate. The scenographic tour displays and explains the stages of the manufacture of chocolate, its uses, its history, its benefits, its economy and its diversity. It appeals to all the visitor’s senses while a tropical greenhouse reproduces the conditions of cocoa cultivation. Thanks to the chocolate workshop integrated in the museum tour you experience the daily work of the artisan chocolate makers who let you taste their last creations.
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The Belgian Comic Strip Center
The Belgian Comic Strip Center has been honouring the creators and heroes of the 9th Art for more than 25 years. The regularly renewed permanent exhibitions and a diversified programme of temporary exhibitions enable visitors to discover the countless aspects of comics art. Tintin and the Smurfs lead the way towards further adventures, an encounter with a world where creativity has no limits. Enhanced by an exceptional Art Nouveau home designed by Victor Horta, the Belgian Comic Strip Center is just as much a tribute to the pioneers as a glimpse of contemporary comics art.
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Cinquantenaire Park
The Cinquantenaire park is comprised of a vast set of gardens dotted with monuments and museums. It is dominated by a triumphal arch with three arches. The park hosts numerous activities throughout the year: events, celebrations, firework displays, sporting events, concerts, etc. This place of interest was built in 1880 for the 50th anniversary of the independence of Belgium. The broad pathways lead to the Pavilion of Human Passions designed by Victor Horta, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces & Military History, the Royal Museums of Art and History and to Autoworld. At the top of the three triumphal arches there’s a bronze quadriga and an unbeatable sweeping view over the whole of Brussels.
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Groeningemuseum
The Groeninge Museum offers a varied overview of the history of Belgian plastic arts. Although the Flemish Primitives are a high point, you will also marvel at top 18th and 19th-century neoclassical pieces, masterpieces from Flemish Expressionism and post-war modern art.
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Church of Our Lady Bruges
The 115.5 metres high brick tower of the Church of Our Lady is a perfect illustration of the craftsmanship of Bruges’ artisans. The church displays a valuable art collection: Michelangelo’s world-famous Madonna and Child, countless paintings, 13th-century painted sepulchres and the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold. Useful to know: at the moment, large-scale renovation works are still being carried out, so the church is only partially accessible and many works of art cannot be viewed. The choir was renovated in 2015 and the remarkable church interior can now once again be admired in all its splendour.
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Begijnhof (Beguinage)
The 'Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde' with its white-coloured house fronts and tranquil convent garden was founded in 1245. This little piece of world heritage was once the home of the beguines, emancipated lay-women who nevertheless led a pious and celibate life. Today the beguinage is inhabited by nuns of the Order of St. Benedict and several Bruges women who have decided to remain unmarried. In the Beguine's house, you can still get a good idea of what day-to-day life was like in the 17th century.
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The Horta Museum
The Horta Museum is established in the private house and studio of the famous architect, Victor Horta (1861 - 1947). Built between 1898 and 1901, the two buildings are characteristic of Art Nouveau at its peak. The house has kept intact most of its interior decors: mosaics, stained-glass windows, furniture, paintings and murals form a collection whose every detail evokes harmony and sophistication. The museum is also a centre for research into Victor Horta and Art Nouveau. The architect's personal archives, a collection of blueprints for his buildings and a library are open to the public by arrangement.
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The Forest and Waters Museum
The Forest and Waters Museum is located in the Domaine de Bérinzenne in Spa. Come and discover the many secrets of the fauna and flora of the Fagnes. Through murals, stuffed animals, interactive modules and its cheerful mascot, the Musée de la Forêt et des Eaux offers a real immersion in the enchanting natural world of the Spa region. Wander from one room to another and listen to birds singing, streams flowing, observe wild animals and learn about the famous Spa water and forestry. A new theme is chosen every year, inspiring an exhibition and an adventure: a treasure hunt for children to make the most of the site. The museum is nestled at the heart of the Domaine de Bérinzenne, the perfect start for walks in the Fagne regio and home for the CRIE de Spa welcome centre.
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Museum Amandine
April 3rd 1995 - On this day the Amandine entered Oostende harbour for the last time. On this day it dropped anchor for the very last time. The crew disembarked, swallowed hard and went home without looking back. The last page in Oostende's book on Iceland Fishing had been turned. Now, 13 years later, the Amandine has started her second career, a career as an interactive museum. It has taken two years of hard and concentrated work in the old shipyard 'Seghers' to restore the ship to its former glory. But today is the day. Today you can see the ship at the renovated Visserskaai in the heart of Oostende.
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James Ensor House
Do not fear. To truly understand the master, you must visit his house at least once. The displaying cupboards full of crazy, bizarre, bewildering objects will bring you into the atmosphere of his work, breathing in the air on the piano nobile will do the rest. The Ensor House is closed since November 15th, 2017. Reopening will be after finishing the constructions of the Ensor visitor centre. Keep an eye on the website for more information! The interactive experience centre will offer extensive information about Ensor the artist and the world he lived in. Each of the five experience rooms highlights a specific theme, including Ensor’s studio, the masks, Ensor and Ostend, Death and finally, Society and criticism. The experience centre will also host temporary exhibitions with unique engravings and prints by James Ensor. The perfect place, in other words, to immerse yourself in the artist’s world and work and learn more about this complex and fascinating figure.