The first and oldest museum in the Netherlands
First and oldest museum in the Netherlands
Behind the heavy monumental door of Teylers Museum, a whole world of the past awaits you: the world of the eighteenth century, the Enlightenment, when the newest scientific experiments were made, when newly excavated fossils were put on show, and when people marvelled at accounts of recent journeys of discovery. To each inquiring person, learning and discovering were essential – as they still are today.
The 18th-century ensemble is wholly unique
The oldest museum in the Netherlands, Teylers was founded in the eighteenth century and still exudes the atmosphere of that time. Built in 1784 to house exhibits legated by Pieter Teyler, a wealthy banker and merchant, it has hardly changed in all those years. As a visitor, you wander past the various items shown in the attractive historical display cases, which are lit only by daylight. It is as if you were leafing through an encyclopaedia, allowing each object to tell its own story – each fossil, mineral or scientific instrument; each coin, medal, book, print, painting or drawing. Some are famous, some are complex; all are fascinating.
You can hear the stories of these exhibits on the free audio-tour, or learn more about them in our Multimedia Room. Most objects are shown in the very same display case in which they were placed years ago by people whose view of the world was very different. All evoking the sensation that, just for a moment, time has stood still… In our modern wing, you then enter the present day. This is where we stage exhibitions and give presentations that spotlight particular items from our large permanent collection. These events are often organised around a current theme, combining important loans with our most beautiful fossils, coins and books, or with drawings by famous artists. Recent exhibitions include those on Maria Sybilla Merian, piercing, Antarctica, dinosaurs and dragons, Jacob Maris, and Michelangelo. So enter the encyclopaedic world of Teylers Museum: we look forward to welcoming you!