Interesting facts about the Rijksmuseum


The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history.

The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South.

The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace and later in the Trippenhuis.

It was formally established by decree of the King of Netherlands Louis Bonaparte in 1808. Louis Bonaparte was Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother.

The current main building was designed by the Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers and first opened its doors in 1885. It has been built in the then fashionable Dutch neo-Renaissance style, using historical neo-Gothic elements in it form and decoration.


On 13 April 2013, after a ten-year renovation which cost € 375 million, the main building was reopened by Queen Beatrix.

Total building size is 30,000 square meters (323,000 square feet).

Total exhibition space is 12,000 square meters (130,000 square feet).

The museum is laid out over four floors, labelled from zero to three.

The walking distance through the museum’s 80 galleries is a total of approximately 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles).

rijksmuseum interior

The collection of the Rijksmuseum consists of 1 million objects and is dedicated to arts, crafts, and history from the years 1200 to 2000.

Around 8000 objects are currently on display in the museum.

The collection contains more than 2,000 paintings from the Dutch Golden Age by notable painters such as Jacob van Ruisdael, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Rembrandt, and Rembrandt’s pupils.

Many famous paintings are located in the Rijksmuseum, including:

The Night Watch, a 1642 painting by Rembrandt van Rijn. It is prominently displayed in the Rijksmuseum as the best known painting in its collection. The Night Watch is one of the most famous Dutch Golden Age paintings.

the night watch by rembrandt

The Milkmaid is an oil-on-canvas painting of a “milkmaid”, in fact a domestic kitchen maid, by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. The exact year of the painting’s completion is unknown, with estimates varying by source. The Rijksmuseum estimates it as circa 1658.

the milkmaid johannes vermeer

Marriage Portrait of Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laen is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals, painted in 1622.

marriage portrait of isaac massa and beatrix van der laen

The Threatened Swan is an oil painting of a swan made around 1650 by Dutch Golden Age painter Jan Asselijn. The painting’s subject is a life-size swan (Cygnus olor) defending its nest against a dog.

threatened swan

Winter Landscape with Skaters is a 1608 oil on oak painting by the Dutch artist Hendrick Avercamp. This painting shows ice skaters of all sorts enjoying a day on a frozen river.

winter landscape with skaters by hendrick avercamp

The museum also has a small Asian collection which is on display in the Asian pavilion.

rijksmuseum asian collection

It also displays the stern of HMS Royal Charles (three-decker ship built in 1655) which was captured in the Raid on the Medway.

HMS Royal Charles

The Rijksmuseum Research Library is part of the Rijksmuseum, and is the best and the largest public art history research library in The Netherlands.

rijksmuseum library

The Rijksmuseum has a large, outdoor public space for visitors, in the form of a 14,500-square-meter (156,000 square feet) historic garden.

rijksmuseum garden

Rijks, stylized as RIJKS®, is a restaurant with 140 seats in the Philips Wing. Joris Bijdendijk has been the chef de cuisine since the opening in 2014. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2017.

In 2012 the museum took the unusual step of making some 125,000 high-resolution images available for download via its Rijksstudio webplatform, with plans to add another 40,000 images per year until the entire collection of one million works is available, according to Taco Dibbits, director of collections.

In 2016, it was the most visited museum in the Netherlands with 2.2 million visitors. It is also the largest art museum in the country.

The Rijksmuseum is a rijksmonument (national heritage site) since 1970 and was listed in the Top 100 Dutch heritage sites in 1990.