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Museum Willet-Holthuysen

Museums, History
Built in the 1680s, this mansion was purchased in the 1850s by the Willet-Holthuysen family. When Abraham, remembered as 'the Oscar Wilde of Amsterdam', died in 1889, his wife Sandrina Louisa, a hermaphrodite (that's right: a chick with a dick) left the house and its contents to the city on the condition it was preserved and opened as a museum - a nice gesture, were it not for the fact that cats were the main residents for many years. The family had followed the fashion of the time and decorated it in the neo-Louis XVI style: it's densely furnished, with the over-embellishment extending to the collection of rare objets d'art, glassware, silver, fine china and paintings - including a portrait of a rather shocked-looking Abraham (taken on his honeymoon, perhaps?). English texts accompany the exhibits, and there's an English-language video explaining the history of the house and the city's canal system. The view into the recently renovated 18th-century garden almost takes you back in time, but the illusion is disturbed by the adjoining modern buildings.


Venue name: Museum Willet-Holthuysen
Address: Herengracht 605

Opening hours: Open 10am-5pm Mon-Fri; 11am-5pm Sat, Sun.
Transport: Tram 4, 9, 14
Price: Admission €5; €3.75 over-65s; €2.50 6s-18s; free under-6s, MK.
Static map showing venue location