It is the first I returned to Holland since we left it in 1992, after residing there for 4 years
as ex-pats. in a beautiful neighborhood named Vassenaar - a suburb of the Hague.
The current Vermeer exhibit at the Rijksmuseum was the main reason to
my return to this country, which I admit
had kept me away mainly due the memories of a cold grey rainy weather , typical to the European flat lands, almost all year around.
Surprisingly, for a change, a dry clear bright blue sunny sky, (though cold) weather, welcomed us upon landing. .
We were astonish to realize how Schiphol airport is so much more compact, and outdated, in comparison to the many other larger and more modern airports, we have been passing through, in the past 30 years during our frequent travels.
Furthermore the walk by foot, from the Arrival Gate to Baggage Claim Hall , was more of a long journey through endless connected buildings and corridors.
The taxi driver who picked us up in a fancy unfamiliar model of an electric bright red KIA, and dropped us at our hotel 20 minutes later, shared during the drive to Amsterdam's southern neighborhood, all his life story. He is from an original Iraqi decent, who run away at 19, from his military service, under Saddam Husein, at Abu-Ghrib prison, and was lucky to get asylum in Holland, which was a life savor for him.
Amsterdam's South Neighborhood
Our dear long Dutch friend Hans recommended a fantastic small boutique hotel on the Apollolaan St - at the elegant Apollobuurt South district, near the center ,which is considered the most prestigious avenue in the city with its many beautiful old trees, and spacious walking paths.
The neighborhood is characterized by spacious streets ,named after Greek legends, painters and composers, and luxurious design. .
Hildo Krop Ornoment
Most of the houses were built in Amsterdam School Architecture style (1910 - 1930) which is rooted in Expressionist architecture and borrowed elements from Art Nouveau and Art Deco (more)
It is often decorated with ornaments by the famous Dutch city sculptor Hildo Krop who lived from 1884 - 1970. Many of his sculptures are on view while walking through the neighborhood, like in an open-air museum.
The main east-west streets are Apollolaan and Stadionweg, and the main shopping street with beautiful shops and good restaurants are Apollolaan and Beethovenstraat.
There are several hotels in the area including the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel where John Lennon and Yoko Ono had their "Bed-In" for Peace in 1969 and the artist Herman Brood jumped to his death in 2001
Around the corner from the the Beethovenstaat .there are many places to eat & drink.
We stayed at the charming:
Apollo First Hotel
Apoliolaan 123-127 1077 AP Amsterdam + 31 20 5773800 email@example.com
The four-star Apollofirst Boutique hotel from the early 1920 is located in three stately mansions within walking distance of the museum raw
It was initially built as a residential home (#123) and after the war was purchased by Lily Meyer a silent film movie star , who attracted many celebrities in the hotel's early yeas as the hotel was considered the third luxury hotel in town , until she died in 1976 and the hotel declined with her demise.
In 1978 it was bought by another owner who added the 2 other buildings expending and reviving the hotel's attraction
In addition to a quiet environment, 40 spacious stylishly furnished rooms ,a sunny courtyard garden, a cozy Library bar & lounge, the hotel has its own very unique: small theater. with performances going on all year around
Dinner at a BellaVista restaurant only 5 minutes walk away from the hotel
Italian Restaurant BellaVista
Johannes Verhulststraat 156. 1071 NP Amsterdam. +31 (0)20 671 3888.
Great food and ambiance.
Night over the canal
The view of the canals on the way to the Rijksmuseum
Favorite transportation vehicle in transporting kids
Luckily I got the entrance tickets to the exhibit, on line, way back in December when the museum just went on sail, as tickets are completely sold out, from when the exhibit opened in Feb and until June/2023 when it ends.
Also the tickets system committing to a specific hour entrance,, manged to regulate the amount of visitors and made the experience pleasant and enjoyable as it was not crowded in the several halls in which the exhibit is spread out
The Dutch Painter from Delft
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) lived and worked in Delft.
He grew up surrounded by his art-dealer father’s business, and he was raised a Calvinist reformed Protestant. Upon his marriage, however, he became part of a Catholic family. and produced 14 or 15 children, out of whom 11 of them survived beyond childhood.
Vermeer was a painter, an art dealer and the head of the St Lucas artists’ guild.
His work is best known for his tranquil, introverted interior scenes, his unprecedented use of bright,colorful light and his convincing illusionism. In contrast to Rembrandt,
View of Delft (1660-1661) at the Exhibit
The exhibition explores the artist’s ambitions, work, private life, religious faith and social milieu. It is the first retrospective exhibition of Johannes Vermeer in the history of the museum.
Christ i the house of Mary and Martha
The Procurerss (1656)
Vermeer left a remarkably small oeuvre of 37 paintings, of which Seven have a permanent home in the Netherlands: four at the Rijksmuseum, including The Milkmaid and The Little Street; and three at the Mauritshuis, including Girl with a Pearl Earring.
The 28 Vermeer paintings in this show were gathered from seven countries around the world, and seven of the paintings are on view in the Netherlands for the first time in over 200 years.
Girl with a Red Hat Girl with s pearl Earring Girl with a Flute
Vermeer's artistic depiction of skillful women, belonging to whichever social class,
who are capable domestic laborer,s or capable atwriting and music playing, conveys his admiration and appreciation of this man of the 17thc toward the opposite sex
The Milkmaid (1660)
Women & a pearl Necklace/ Women writing a letter/Young women sitting a virginal
Writing a letter with a maid The Love letter Mistress and Maid
Officer and the laughing girl The Geographer The Glass of Wine
Girl reading a letter at an open window
At another part in the museum
Just for comparison to Vermeer's painting "The Procurers" from 1656 (above) in Rembrandt painting portrays also the same intimate gesture,,as use of coloring - red & yellow, but on the opposite sex.
"Isaac and Rebecca" - known as "The Jewish Bride" - Rembrandt (1606-1660)
Outside and near the Museum
Bluish color inside the museum -Delft Porcelain & of the outside sky and canals water
Great pastries shops on Van BaerleStraat, 162 across from each other
Broodbakker Simon Meussen Patissere
Clair on Beethovenstraat.
More Restaurants recommended by my dear friend Nurit and Hans
Perilli's Italian Restaurant on 781 Beethovenstraat
Sea Food & Bar - on 5 Van Baerlestraat. We had a very fresh fish there
Mr Porter Steakhouse - in the W Hotel
Izakya - Asian Kitchen &Bar in the Sir Albert Hotel
Restaurant Floreyn - specialities of Dutch cuisine on Albert Cuypstraat 31 | 1072CL
Cafe Loetje - on Parnassusweg in the Business area ( few locations of this chain)
Popular Places for brunch and Breakfast:
Van Dam Braserrie - on Cornelius Schuytstraat
Brasserie De Joffers on Cornelius Schuytstraat
Conservatorium Hotel (built by the Israeli Akkirov) for brunch and Breakfast
To be continued........