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Pieter Teylers Huis

Pieter Teylers House is Open

Tuesday 30 November 2021

On Tuesday, November 30, Her Majesty Queen Máxima opened The Pieter Teyler House, a new wing of Teylers Museum. The 18th-century home of the museum's founding father has been opened to the public after a thorough restoration. Some rooms of this unique national monument are among the best preserved historic interiors in the Netherlands from the 18th century. But the house is more than a journey back in time: visitors can discover more about the Enlightenment ideals of Pieter Teyler and their significance for today.

Pieter Teyler van der Hulst (1702-1778)

Pieter Teyler van der Hulst (1702-1778)

Pieter Teyler and Teylers Museum

The Pieter Teyler House is inextricably linked to the history of the oldest museum in the Netherlands. Its namesake, Pieter Teyler (1702-1778), was a wealthy entrepreneur from Haarlem. He left his fortune and house to a foundation that aimed to improve the lives of everyone. This resulted in, among other things, Teylers Museum, which opened in 1784 and at that time only consisted of the Ovale Hall. Visitors entered the Oval Hall via the impressive, long marble corridor of Teyler's former home and marveled at the latest scientific inventions and art of that time. Famous guests such as Einstein, Emperor Napoleon and Tsar Alexander visited the museum and the house.

House of the Enlightenment

Teyler was a man of the Enlightenment. He believed that every person has the right to strive for freedom and happiness and that this would lead to a better world. He commissioned five of his friends to carry forward his ideals after his death. The foundation they formed did this not only practically, by supporting people in poverty, but also by promoting art and science and the knowledge of religion. The Pieter Teyler House has been the headquarters of this foundation for almost 250 years and is one of the few places in the world where the Enlightenment is almost tangible.

'Teylers of today'

In addition to providing a historical sensation, the house also aims to be a place of reflection. What do Teyler's ideals still mean today? Visitors are provided with information about the Enlightenment in the various rooms and are invited to reflect on the link with the present. For example, contemporary patrons and world improvers are highlighted around a facsimile of Teyler's will. From Clarence Seedorf, who promotes sports education for children in disadvantaged neighborhoods with his Champions for Children Foundation, to Beyoncé, who is committed to the Black Lives Matter movement and the equality of women and girls. They are the 'Teylers of today'. By featuring four 18th-century credos from the Enlightenment in an interactive projection, visitors are invited to consider whether they feel connected to the ideals of the Enlightenment.

3D visualization of the museum and The Pieter Teyler House.

3D visualization of the museum and The Pieter Teyler House.

Restoration of The Pieter Teylers House.

Restoration of The Pieter Teylers House.

Photo: Johan Nieuwenhuize.

Extensive Restauration

Since 2013, the 1.115 m2 building, which actually consists of four houses built together, has been thoroughly restored. The ground floor, accessible to all museum visitors, has been brought back to the time of the opening of Teylers Museum, 1780-1790, the period of neoclassicism. For the first floor, which is accessible by guided tour from March 1, the colors, furnishings and wall decorations from the period 1715-1750, when Pieter Teyler lived there, were chosen. There are also rooms for educational workshops and meetings available on this floor. In order to damage the authentic character of the house as little as possible, almost all installations are invisibly concealed between the floors and ceilings. The restoration was realized in close collaboration between the museum and the monument sector, the restoration architect, various experts and researchers, contractors and advisors.

Miniatuur Pieter Teylers Huis

Miniature House

The showpiece is a fully furnished miniature version (scale 1:12) of The Pieter Teyler House on the day of his death, April 8, 1778. This exact reconstruction in 3D is approximately 3.50 meters long, 75 centimeters wide and 1.50 meters high.Visitors can walk all the way around it and get an intimate insight into the daily life of the namesake of The Pieter Teyler House and Teylers Museum.

The Pieter Teyler House Practical

A visit to Pieter Teylers House is included in the entrance ticket to Teylers Museum. Individual visitors can wander around the ground floor. Guided tours and group visits (ground floor and first floor) will be offered from March 1, 2022.

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Tuesday until Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Spaarne 16, 2011 CH Haarlem

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