The Frans Hals Museum is a 17th-century building located in the middle of Haarlem’s historic center in the Netherlands. It exhibits works by a number of the greatest old masters of Holland. Almost all pieces found in the museum date back to the Dutch Golden Age when the city was a major painting center.
Visitors in the museum can spend a full day impressed with the landscapes created by Jacob van Ruisdael, sea battles by Hendrik Cornelisz Vroom and portraits by Frans Hals. The highlight of the museum is the civic guard painting by Frans Hals.
Originally, Frans Hals Museum was founded in 1862 in the Dominican church cloisters situated in the back of the Haarlem city hall. However, it moved to the town orphanage in 1913 as it needed more space. The collection is based on the successful works of Haarlem itself, integrating more than a dozen of Frans Hals’ paintings, together with other great art of the city dating back from the 15th century up to the present.
The modern compilation of works is placed in the two buildings in Hallen, which is a town square. These works were originally positioned in Oudemannenhuis, a home for the elderly established in 1609.
The complex was later transformed into an orphanage in 1810 and converted into a site for Frans Hals Museum’s classical collected work, along with the paintings of Frans Hals. After the relocation, the museum took on the name of the celebrated Frans Hals since his works were regarded as the most prominent paintings of the museum’s collection at the time.
What to Expect
Today, the museum’s rooms that have a 17th-century decor are arranged with gardens around a square courtyard ensuring harmony with the paintings. Frans Hals museum is popular for the five big civic guard paintings, different Frans Hals individual portraits and three regent group portraits.
Aside from paintings, the collected works integrated stuffs associated with the city of Haarlem acquired through donations. These include grand rooms saved from the city’s torn-down houses, an old pharmacy and sets of silver saved from some local churches.
In the Frans Hals Museum, tourists can visit the Werweyhal and Vleeshal exhibition galleries. Every year these galleries hold about ten exhibitions. Of course, Frans Hal’s paintings are worth a visit. The museum allows visitors to feel an old Dutch atmosphere.
Also, a separate section composed of a replica of a 17th-century Haarlem street is a must-see. Just before tourists exit, they can check out the Dutch Proverbs by Pieter Brueghel the Younger which illustrates a raft of modern proverbs.
How to Get There
Frans Hals Museum is a twenty-minute walk from the train station. To get there, walk in the way to the city center. Take the Kruisstraat and the Kruisweg in the shopping street until you arrive at the Grote Markt square. Walk straight to the Grote Houtstraat, which is another shopping street, until you see a big warehouse. Walk left to the Gedempte Oude Gracht, and go right to the Groot Heiligland. People can visit the museum from Tuesday to Saturday (11am –5pm) and Sunday (12am –5pm).
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