Skip to Content

Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.

Map of the world

Museum Junkie: Hermitage Amsterdam launches grand opening

A branch of Russia's famous Hermitage museum opened to the public last weekend in Amsterdam. The giant Hermitage Amsterdam houses treasures from St. Petersburg including costumes, jewelry, furniture, and art from the time of the Tsars.

The museum's opening was done with appropriate pomp and circumstance. Fireworks, a full orchestra, and a visit by the Dutch royal family entertained a vast crowd lining the Amstel canal just to the east of downtown Amsterdam.

The museum itself made a more lasting impression. The two wings are dedicated to the Tsars' court and the exquisite balls for which it was famous. Some of the most sumptuous displays are of court costume, like this red velvet and satin dress embroidered with gold, made for the Tsarina Maria Feodorovna sometime between 1880s and 1890. Other displays included ornate jewelry, gold tableware, thrones, and even musical instruments.

Some of the most interesting items were the minor ones, like the menus for state banquets, showing images from Russian history printed in brilliant colors. The working toy guns for the Tsar's children brought a few looks of horror from parents, and a series of early black and white silent films from Russia in the 1910s gathered a large crowd.

What the displays didn't talk about was as interesting as what they did. There was barely a mention of the Soviet Union, and not a word of how the Romanovs lost power--by being lined up against a wall and shot by the Bolsheviks. With this grandiose display the new Russia is trying to put its unseemly past behind it and highlight its role as a European power in the grand tradition. While museums shouldn't shy away from inconvenient history, the Hermitage Amsterdam certainly fulfills its objective. Add it to the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum as the artistic highlights of one of Europe's great art capitals.

Filed under: Arts and Culture, History, Learning, Europe, Russian Federation, Netherlands, News

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)

Add your comments

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.

When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.

To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.

Gadling Features

Most Popular


Become our Fan on Facebook!

Featured Galleries (view all)

Berlin's Abandoned Tempelhof Airport
The Junk Cars of Cleveland, New Mexico
United Airlines 787 Inaugural Flight
Ghosts of War: France
New Mexico's International Symposium Of Electronic Arts
Valley of Roses, Morocco
The Southern Road
United Dreamliner Interior
United Dreamliner Exterior

Our Writers

Don George

Features Editor

RSS Feed

View more Writers

Weird News


FOXNews Travel


Sherman's Travel

Lonely Planet

New York Times Travel