Museum Oud Amelisweerd
Museum Oud Amelisweerd, a ten-minute train ride from Utrecht, is a property and estate that dates back to the 13th century. In fact, the Amelisweerd estate once belonged to Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, King of Holland as Louis II. Today, however, the grand house, set amidst a beautiful country park, is famed for its collection of 18th-century Chinese tapestries and contemporary art.
- Explore history and art at this beautiful country estate.
- See historic Chinese tapestries and contemporary Dutch expressionism at the museum.
- Walk in the footsteps of Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, King of Holland.
The history of Oud Amelisweerd
Like so many of Holland’s castles, palaces and stately homes, Oud Amelisweerd has seen its fair share of famous visitors and residents. After all, it has existed in various forms since the 13th century, eventually rebuilt around 1770. From 1808 to 1810, the entire Amelisweerd estate was actually owned by Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, then King of Holland as Louis II. He was planning to make it his royal residence: he himself would take up residence at Oud Amelisweerd, while his guard would stay at the nearby country house Nieuw Amelisweerd. In the end, however, Louis only spent eight days on the estate.
In more recent times, the house and neighboring coach house had fallen into a state of disrepair after periods lying disused. But following new investment and modernization, Museum Oud Amelisweerd opened its doors in 2014, while restaurant De Veldkeuken opened in its historic coach house.
Old and new art in Museum Oud Amelisweerd
The two largest halls on the bel étage of Museum Oud Amelisweerd (MOA) showcase the museum’s spectacular large-scale Chinese tapestries. Hung at their original location within the stately home, they show Chinese nature motifs, hunting scenes and a dragon boat race. The tapestries were made in Canton between 1750 and 1770 and came to Holland onboard one of the ships of the Dutch East India Company.
Today, the guiding principle of the museum’s contemporary art collection and visiting exhibitions is to explore the essential and universal relationship between man and nature in the past, present and future.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00-17:00; tours on request
Prices: Adults €12, children (9-18 years) €6
We recommend: Live the dream by staying overnight in a Dutch castle: book your stay at Stayokay Landhuis Rhijnauwen, situated in a picturesque woodland area in Bunnik, near Utrecht. The estate dates from the 13th century, with the current manor house being constructed in the 18th century. Guests can spend the night steeped in history (without the steep price tag) in comfortable hostel accommodation that ranges from two-person private rooms to group dormitories.
Find more information here.