Museum Belvedere is located in Oranjewoud, close to the picturesque Oranjewoud estate. This contemporary building boasts of a natural place in an amazing landscape. From the museum, there is a view of the Grand Canal which cuts through the contemporary baroque gardens ending the estate. A visit to the museum includes a walk through the museum park or the Oranjewoud woods to see the observation tower and the old estate garden.
In the 1950s, Thom Mercuur, Sjoerd de Vries and Boele Bregman dreamed of a modern art museum. The three boys thought that the museum would be erected in Friesland where they live. The museum would exhibit the paintings of Boele Bregman and Sjoerd de Vries. They would have Thomas Mercuur as the director.
The boys’ dream became reality after forty years. In November 2004, Belvédère Museum was opened by Her Majesty Queens Beatrix. The musuem is the first contemporary museum of art in Friesland, Heerenveen. A collection of artworks by Frisian painters such as Sjoerd de Vries, Tames Old, Boele Bregman, William of Althuis, Gerrit Benner, Jan Mankes and Thijs Rinsema are displayed.
However, the museum also exhibits the works of local and foreign kindred spirits. The Museum Belvedere is truly a refuge for Frisian artists. Thom Mercuur, the director and founder of the museum, is still involved with Museum Belvedere.
What to Expect
Collection-The museum’s permanent collection is composed of 20th century and modern Dutch art focusing on Friesland and the northern region. The exhibits show the atmosphere of the building and the museum itself. The collection is characterized by sensitivity, modesty and stillness as well as crosses diverse styles as impressionism, expressionism, realism, new figuration and constructivism.
Additionally, the museum has a focus on artists guided by the need to visually express themselves. Usually, they are self-taught artists and loners. The museum serves as a repository of art to allow artists to express their personal sentiments.
The Museum Park
Landgoed Oranjewoud, the museum park, was built in 2004 between Museum Belvedere and Oranjewoud. This estate dates from the 19th century. This contemporary park is a baroque garden version. The Grand Canal’s sides have restored promenades which are flanked by copses.
The estate’s history goes back to 1676 as Sickingastate was acquired by Albertina Agnes of Oranje and named it Oranjewoud. In 1813, Frisian noble families purchased the estate in 1813 after it was demolished.
Guided tours are offered by Forestry Commission through the museum. Visitors will be taken through the museum and will know more about its culture and nature as well as of Oranjewoud’s. Visitors are also given the opportunity to go cycling and hiking in Oranjewoud while being led by a guide.
How to Get There
Walk from the train station Heerenveen. If you wish to go to the museum through local transport start moving one hour in advance. From the station, ride a bus for De Knipe. From there, you can take a 15-minute walk across the Woudsterweg to reach the museum.