The Eyewear Museum (Nationaal Brilmuseum en Brillenwinkel) in Amsterdam is primarily a family tradition and heritage of the Theunissen clan.
The love of optics in the clan dates back to the 19th century, but it wasn't until 1981 that Jan Theunissen decided to show the entire collection of objects to a wider audience. The collection tells the story of the development of this accessory over 700 years.
The museum is located in a two-story building, on the second floor. The first floor is reserved for an optical store with retro frames, where you can pick up a very unusual and one-of-a-kind model. The average price is about 100 euros. The range includes quality frames for both sunglasses and diopters.
When you open the doors, you enter a world of glasses with different shapes and accessories. Looking through the exhibits, it may seem that some models are the invention of crazy designers and were not to be used in everyday life.
That's how impractical these glasses look. The "diamond" of the collection: glasses with wire frames of German origin.
A separate series includes no less attractive exhibits of pince-nez, monocles, glasses of unusual shapes (for example in the form of a bicycle) and with a variety of designs: butterflies, birds, flowers, glasses of different ages and countries of the world.
The age of the "oldest" exhibit dates back to the 13th century, when suitable glasses for glasses appeared. In addition, modern models of the original design are also on display.
In addition to eyeglasses you can see ophthalmic instruments and a huge number of lenses, neatly arranged in special boxes.
Visitors are especially interested in the glasses worn by Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Elton John and Elvis Costello. The tour is given by the hostess of the establishment (daughter of Jan Teinissen) and owner of the entire legacy.
When you buy a ticket, you are given an unusual brochure that tells the history of the eyewear industry and the attitude towards them, for example, as a measure of a person's social status.
- for adults - 4,5 euros. The price includes a brochure in English and Dutch
- For children -2.5 euros. The price includes a poster of the museum.
Since the museum is located in an old building, its visit is not possible for people with disabilities.
Guests are welcome all year round, from Wednesday to Saturday.
Time: Wednesday-Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: from 11:30 to 17:00
- Museum address: Gasthuismolensteeg 7, 1016 AM Amsterdam
- Phone: +31 20 4212414
- Official site: www.brilmuseumamsterdam.nl
How to get
- Walking: Place de Dam go to the left of the Queens Palace behind the Anne Frank House. The museum is on the left side.
- Streetcar: Routes 1,2,5. Koningsplein stop (departure from the main railway station).