Located in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Museumpark is an urban park located within the city’s center that is surrounded by six cultural museums and a large medical center, hosting a variety of festivals, markets, and other public special events throughout the year.

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History

The expansive grounds of what is now the Museumpark are the former estate of the Van Hoboken family. The grounds span over 138 acres and were acquired by the Van Hobokens, a wealthy Dutch shipping and banking family, in the 17th century. The estate and its grounds stayed within the family until 1924, when they were purchased by the city of Rotterdam. The Van Hoboken family estate, which is still located on the grounds of Museumpark, now houses the Museum of Natural History. In 1927, the park was planned to serve as an urban park connecting several museum facilities. It was primarily envisioned by Dutch architect Willem Gerrit Witteveen, though extensive work on the park’s design was also done by architect Rem Koolhaas and landscape architect Yves Brunier. In 1992 a major expansion of the park was completed, adding paved terraces, garden rooms, and a bridge between the north and south areas of the park.

Attractions

Today, Museumpark is operated as an urban park within the city center of Rotterdam, located on the grounds of the former Van Hoboken family estate. As an integral part of Rotterdam’s cultural scene, the park contains a wide variety of gardens, along with public seating areas and amenities. It is divided into five primary areas, with the first containing a pond, a rose garden, and a memorial for prominent Rotterdam architect Gerrit de Jongh. The second area, known as the Romantic Zone, contains a garden, an apple orchard, and a pedestrian bridge commonly referred to as the “senseless bridge,” as it does not cross over any waterways or roads. The third area of the park is a raised event section that sits on top of an underground parking garage, while the fourth area features an orchard of honey locust trees planted in beds of white shells and a long mirrored wall, which has chairs set up for patrons and can be walked across to get into the park from the city.

A fifth area within the park is home to the majority of the park’s six museums, which include several art museums, a historic home, and a natural history museum. The Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam, which was opened in 1927 and receives more than 44,000 annual visitors, is dedicated to the nature and geography of Rotterdam and the surrounding area, with a focus on the importance of biodiversity. The Villa Sonneveld historic home, built in 1933, stands as one of the best-preserved houses constructed in the Het Nieuwe Bowen style and is operated today as a living history museum offering guided public tours. Also featured at the park is the New Institute, a museum of architecture, design, and digital works which serves as a launching platform for members of the creative industry.

The park’s art museums include the Chabot Museum, which is dedicated to the life and works of Dutch artist Hendrik Chabot. The Museum Boijmans van Beuningen is a large art museum that houses the Netherland’s only complete overview of Western art from the Middle Ages through the modern times, while the Kunsthal is a 20th-century and contemporary art museum showcasing temporary rotating exhibits and presentations related to a variety of regional and international modern artists and masters.

Visitors are able to purchase an inclusive Museumpark ticket, which allows for admission to the museums at a substantial savings when compared to purchasing tickets for each museum individually. Museumpark tickets are good for six months at a time, allowing visitors to enjoy the museums on the park at their leisure. Additionally, Museumpark tickets can be used to acquire discounts at museum stores and cafes. In addition to museum cafes, food service is provided at the L’Entrecote restaurant, a French restaurant that features barbecue dishes, a full drink menu, and seasonal outdoor seating with park views.

Ongoing Programs and Events

Museumpark hosts several market events throughout the year, including farmer’s markets that offer local produce and crafts during the growing season. Crafts markets are held throughout the summer months, showcasing the work of local artisans and crafters. In March, an annual Museum Night is held, which allows visitors nighttime access to 3o museums and art galleries throughout the city of Rotterdam with a single wristband, including the six facilities of Museumpark. A large parade, De Parade, is also held at the park every summer.

Museumpark 1 3015 CX ROTTERDAM, Phone: +31-1-04-36-05-97

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