Het Schip Museum in Amsterdam

het schip museum in Amsterdam
Photo by F.R.J. on Flickr
I have a thing for quirky museums. Especially ones where you get to peek in an historic residence. So on my last trip to Amsterdam I took my London friends to Het Schip Museum.

No, this museum is not about boats or ships. This museum is totally dedicated to a type of Dutch architecture that was very popular in the beginning of the 20th century. It's called Amsterdam School. I'm by no means an expert, but I think it's best described as Dutch Art Deco. The building was created as a social housing project, but, believe me, a council estate this is ain't. No drab slabs of concrete, depressing brickwork or square and boxy design on this building.

For one its shape is highly reminiscent of a Ship. Hence, of course its name. It's got all these cool details like the impressive bay window that looks like a massive cigar and a church like steeple that has no function whatsoever. There are wavy lines, natural shapes and cool detail work. It's all very easy on the eyes.

A quirky museum in Amsterdam
Photo by F.R.J. on Flickr
The museum runs guided tours only and we're booked on one. It starts in the post-office turned ticket office. The guide tells us about the history of the building and the people that lived here, but I'm more interested in all the 19th century postie artefacts on display here, and there's even an old phone booth. Imagine this: Apparently people came here just to make a phone call with their relatives who lived on the other side of the country. The call had to be planned days in advance by writing a letter to the people at the other end. This was such a special occasion that the entire family would join in on the call, all dressed up in their best dresses and suits. Other callers had to wait their turn outside the booth on a wooden bench. Thank God for my IPhone!!

The tour guide takes us outside into the freezing December cold,  around the enormous building, where we, huddled together like penguins, are told about the structure and architectural design of The Ship. Eventually we enter into a show apartment where we have a good nosy around in the living room, kitchen and the two bedrooms which are furnished in true 19th century style.
And no, you're reading that right: NO bathroom.The horror! But at least they didn't have any morning fights over time slots in the shower.

A quirky museum in Amsterdam
Photo by F.R.J. on Flickr

The tour ends at the museum cafe where we warm our hands and our insides with a hot cup of cocoa, before we head off into the icy weather again.

The Ship museum is an interesting way to spend a few hours in Amsterdam and gives you a visual idea of what it was like to live in  early 20th century Amsterdam.

Go check it out!




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Comments

  1. what a beautiful building, a will definitely visit the Ship Museum on my next trip to Amsterdam

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  2. And you're not all that far from Amsterdam!! Go check it out.

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  3. A fascinating looking building, I especially like that last photo, with the artsy faces looking out from the corner.

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  4. It was more fascinating to see it for real. If ever you're in Amsterdam, do go and visit.

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