Museumplein (30)

When the city was renewed in the second half of the nineteenth century, a new district was planned around what is currently the Museumplein. 

Well-off residents, descended from the wealthy merchants of the Dutch Golden Century, who had developed an exquisite taste for culture and collecting, settled in this area. 

This great covered flat area of grass is Amsterdam’s largest square, and links the broad avenues, luxury shops and majestic buildings of a residential zone, to extremely important centres of culture and the enviable calm of the Vondelpark. 

As you will have deduced, its name “Museum Square” is not coincidental. This great area is surrounded by three of the city’s most important museums: the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of modern art, and the Van Gogh Museum. It is also the site of the prestigious Concertgebouw concert hall.  

The vast perimeter of the Museumplein already existed in the plans of the 1883 International Colonial and Overseas Trade Exhibition, although its arrangement was rather different. Later, in 1895, the square was also used for the World Fair, even though it had still not benefited from a proper urban development plan. 

It was not properly developed until 1999, when the landscape architect Sven Inger transformed it virtually into a large park in which traffic was not allowed. The Museumplein is tarmacked in some areas, has lawn and trees in others, and also has a large lake.  

This large area features some interesting areas that have been equipped for other leisure activities such as skating and basketball. 

If you wish to experience an intense day at museums, the Museumplein fulfils a pleasant function: between the different exhibitions, you can have a sandwich or a salad at one of the cafés here, or stretch out to rest for a while on the grass.

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