1017 CE Amsterdam
T: +31 20 523 1870
Welcome to Herengracht 605. This double-fronted town house was built in 1687, towards the end of Amsterdam’s Golden Age. It was occupied by various families. You had to be very wealthy to live a house like this, on one of the city’s smartest canals. This was certainly true of Abraham Willet and his rich wife Sandrina Louisa Geertruyda Holthuysen, who lived here from 1861 to 1895. Their lives feature strongly throughout the museum.
When Louisa died on 30 January 1895, she bequeathed the house, its valuable contents and her husband’s extensive art collection to the City of Amsterdam. The following year, the doors were opened and the final wishes of the former lady of the house were fulfilled; her beloved home was transformed into a museum named after herself and her husband. Museum Willet Holthuysen, managed by the Amsterdam Museum, is still open to the public more than a hundred years later.
The house is open all year round. You can look around the splendid 18th and 19th-century period rooms. The impressive ballroom, conservatory and dining room bear witness to the Willet-Holthuysen’s lifestyle. The kitchen and scullery in the basement give a good impression of the day-to-day life of their servants. At the back of the double-fronted canal house is a formal French-style symmetric garden, which was reconstructed in 1972. Museum Willet-Holthuysen is located on the Herengracht in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam canal belt is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In 2016, Museum Willet-Holthuysen is celebrating its 120th anniversary and radical changes have been announced. Over the next few years, the period rooms will be renovated and reconstructed. Progress reports and news will be posted on the museum’s website.