The most popular book in the world is the Bible. In the center of Amsterdam on the Herengracht Canal is an unusual museum - the Bible Museum (Bijbels Museum).
The exhibits are housed in four adjoining old houses, which bear the name of their owner and are known as Cromhout houses. Already built in 1662, the buildings themselves are of considerable historical and architectural interest, both inside and out.
The museum was founded in 1851. Initially, the exposition was represented by the private collection of the archaeologist Lindert Skouten.
The Bijbels Museum houses a huge number of different versions of Bibles from the 16th and 18th centuries. The most valuable, or rather priceless, are considered to be:
- The very first Bible printed in the Netherlands back in 1477 was the Delftse Bijbel (Delft Bible).
- The first Dutch edition of the Bible, published in 1637.
The exposition of the museum is not only ancient books, but also a historical component. The exhibits will tell visitors about the life of Palestine and Egypt, the time of the creation of the Holy Scriptures. These are valuable archaeological finds dating back to biblical times.
Just as fascinating and surprising are the models of several famous temples, such as the Temple of Herod or the Temple of Solomon, recreated literally "stone by stone" with all the small details and nuances.
The model of the Tabernacle (the portable Temple) has also been recreated with the utmost accuracy. All the fragments are as close to reality as possible: for example, the wool was imported from Syria, the sand from the Sinai desert, etc.
Part of the exposition is designed specifically for children. Using modern sound and light special effects, biblical stories are played out for the young visitors. There are three spatial options - desert, Egypt, and Jerusalem.
In addition to the museum's main exhibition, of particular interest are the two oldest surviving Dutch kitchens, with all the details of the chic interior of a wealthy Amsterdam landlord.
In excellent condition are the painted ceilings, Jacob de Wit's brushes and moldings that create a special atmosphere.
In 1717 an amazing carved wooden staircase in the English style was built.
Although the Dutch are not surprised by gardens, it is worth noting that the museum garden features all kinds of trees mentioned in the Holy Book, such as figs, date palm, Judas tree, oleander, etc.
And the "smell room" gives an idea of the special biblical scents - tart almonds and acacia blossoms.
A large role is given to water. Visitors can recreate the allusion of the Israelites walking on water or crossing the bottom of the Red Sea.
After visiting the museum, the biblical stories take on a very different color and flavor.
Address: Herengracht 366-368, 1016CH Amsterdam
Opening hours: Mon-Sat from 10.00 to 17.00, Sun and holidays from 11.00 to 17.00
Ticket price: Adult = 8.5 euros, Children from 5 to 18 years = 4.25 euros, from 0 to 4 years = free
Special offers: CJP = 6.5 euros, On student card = 6.5 euros. By Museum Card, I amsterdam City Card, Stadspas, Rembrandtpas, ICOM, Holland Pass voucher = free admission.
Official site: www.bijbelsmuseum.nl