For a city this modest in size, Haarlem is rich in fascinating museums. We started out at the Frans Hals Museum www.franshalsmuseum.nl, where we thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition Emotions – Pain and Pleasure in Dutch Paintings of the Golden Age, which showed how painters portrayed emotions during that Age.

An extraordinary museum is Teyler’s Museum www.teylersmuseum.nl: founded in 1778 as a center for contemporary art and science, it is now a museum of natural history, science and art. It includes countless fossils, old scientific instruments (such as an electrostatic generator, which was shown at the International Electricity Exhibition in Paris in 1881), paintings, medals and coins, as well as old master’s prints and drawings – including 25 works by Michelangelo.

The Archeological Museum www.archeologischmuseumhaarlem.nl, is located in a cellar. This may sound a bit unusual, but it is only logical, as it is under the top layer of soil that you will find the history of a location. On display are findings from Prehistory through the Middle Ages and subsequent centuries – and, until April 19, a temporary exhibition, Cold Case Haarlem, where they show you how, using the techniques applied nowadays to solve criminal (cold) cases, they have discovered the stories behind the skeletons they have found under the city.

Other museums in Haarlem include:

De Hallen: a museum for modern and contemporary art. Three times a year, it organizes a cluster of exhibitions dealing with current developments in the visual arts. It offers artists a platform, with an accent on photography and video art
Haarlem Historical Museum, which has a collection of historical paintings and artifacts
Het Dolhuys: the National Museum for Psychiatry.

For more on Haarlem, visit: www.virtualtourist.com, for more on dining: www.eet.nu/haarlem. For outdoors activities just outside the city: www.np-zuidkennemerland.nl and www.spaarnwoude.nl.

Stephanie Dijkstra
2015 Spring

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