It might have been the first museum I ever visited in my life: the Teylers Museum. I remember loving all the fossils and mineral stones, while not quite understanding what all the impressive machines in the other rooms were for. The books and paintings of the Teylers’ collection I learned to appreciate later in life. I am pretty sure most children from Haarlem share similar memories to this magical place.
The Teylers Museum is the first and oldest museum of the Netherlands. It opened its doors to the public in 1784, six years after the death of its name giver Pieter Teyler van der Hulst. Teyler van der Hulst was a rich merchant and banker from Haarlem, who strongly believed that everyone should be able to learn about art and science. He started collecting everything he thought worthy of exhibiting and made sure that after his death his money would be used to make art and science available for all.
The original collection of the museum is still intact and on display. But it is not just the many fossils, skeletons, paintings and science instruments that make Teylers Museum worth a visit, the building itself is beautiful. The oval room makes you step back in time with its authentic interior from the 18th century and some of the other rooms are still lit up by day light, something that used to be normal but is now rarely seen anymore.
More information about the Teylers Museum, such as opening hours and the visiting address can be found here.