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“Famous Militia paintings and more in nice museum”
Review of Frans Hals Museum

Frans Hals Museum
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US$48.64*
and up
Skip the Line: Amsterdam and Holland Pass
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US$33.44*
and up
2 Hour Private Walking Tour of Haarlem
Ranked #2 of 69 things to do in Haarlem
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This small museum focuses on the works of Frans Hals, 17th-century portrait painter.
Reviewed 17 August 2013

The museum is housed in the former Oude Mannenhuis (Old mens house) in a street called Groot Heiligland. (Great Holy Land). There is a special bus stop, conveniently named Frans Hals Museum, around the corner on a 5 minute walk. (August 2013, bus 3 from Central station)

The major attractions of course are the large paintings of the lively Banquets of the Officers of Militia of the 17th century. They are on display in a large room with a dining table in the middle with the food of the 17th century on display. This makes an interesting combination: the dining on the paintings and the life size model of a dining table in front of the paintings.

At the entrance of the museum is a large video wall with the story of Frans Hals and the evolution of his work. When I visited the narration was in Dutch only. Maybe ask at the front desk if any other language is available too.

Besides the Militia paintings there are the very lively portraits made by Frans Hals. Some are double portraits of married couples, on separate panels, the man on the left panel, his wife at his right.

The most beautiful Frans Hals painting in my opinion, the only one where he portrayed a couple on a single canvas, is on display in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (Couple in a garden: Wedding portrait of Isaac Abrahamsz. Massa and Beatrix van der Laan) Check that out when you are in the Rijksmuseum.

Other parts of the museum have fine paintings, some beautiful style rooms and interesting artefacts like 17th century furniture (clocks, chairs and chests). A separate room has a large dolls house.

Part of the museum has changing exhibitions on various themes. Check the museum’s website for details.

There is a small café for some drinks and light meals and a nice souvenir shop.

The area around the museum is very interesting to walk with centuries old small alleyways. It’s an easy, short walk to the central market with the St.Bavo Church and other museums.

2  Thank SeimenBurum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 August 2013

We went to Harlem by train from Amsterdam, which takes only 20 minutes.
At Harlem we walked through the lovely town and got to the house that holds the Frans Hals exhibition. We were lucky that visited the exhibition that was from 23.3.2013 to 28.7 2013.
The exhibition showed the works of Hals and comparing to famous predecessors and contemporaries among them Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens.
It was a great experience that was enjoy mainly due to a good free audio tour.
It is a good museum to be visit at any time.

1  Thank stoneJerusalem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2013

There was a special exhibition of Hals paintings from other museums at the time of our visit so we had a bonus. But their permanent collection is very good by itself, especially the room with famous group portraits of guild and town officers.
The staff were very accommodating. Because of the special exhibition an extra payment was required in addition to our Holland Pass ticket, and somehow they did not take a credit card for that, and since it was our last day in Holland, we had just a few euros in cash left. They rushed us to the museum store and the transaction thru their credit card register

1  Thank Ron S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

I can't say I really knew much about Frans Hals before going to the museum, but I really enjoyed looking at his paintings, of which this city-owned museum owns an extensive collection. The audio guide is available in English, and though the recordings are not that lengthy, they do a decent job of placing Hals in a time and place. The building itself, built as an old age home, is very beautiful with nicely-scaled galleries and a lovely courtyard. The museum is a bit of a walk from the main town square of Haarlem, but worth seeking out.

1  Thank CambridgeMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2013

The Golden Century starts in Haarlem; the 17th century is to see and feel in the Frans Hals Museum in this lovely peaceful city. The building, the paintings and the centre of the city are just one part of the famous Dutch history.

Thank miknon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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