Last weekend I made a short trip to Amsterdam. My Dutch friend, Monique, who joined me on my Irish trip last year, had invited me to her 60th party and I joined up with two Swiss friends (also called Barbara) for the weekend. We all met when I worked in Cambridge and they were at Language School. That summer (1977) Monique and I went to work at a Hotel in the Bernese Alps. We met up with the Barbaras during our time there and have met up over the years ever since in Boscastle, Italy, London, Grindelwald and Amsterdam. Later this year Tenerife is on the cards!
The Hermitage Amsterdam
The Swiss Barbaras arrived on Friday afternoon and returned on Monday but I’d booked my flight from Leeds Bradford Airport for the Thursday. The price saving allowed me to stay overnight and enjoy a day at Amsterdam’s branch of St Petersburg’s Hermitage. I visited both exhibitions, spent time browsing in the gift and book shop, had lunch in the cafe and generally kept warm and dry. Luckily there were some lockers large enough to hold my carry-on suitcase.
The Amsterdam Outpost of the original Russian Hermitage was opened in 2009. For the previous 324 years it had been a home for the elderly. I was lucky enough to visit Catherine The Great’s Hermitage, part of The Winter Palace, in what was then Leningrad on a fantastic school trip in 1968!
I’ve read lots about the Romanovs and Pre-Revolutionary Russia since my early trip so it was naturally high on my list on this visit to see the exhibition. I spent over two hours and tried to read and look at everything. In addition, an audio guide was included in the ticket price. When you hand in the Guide at the end you may give your email address and are sent a link to any recordings you may have missed. Apparently, I listened to 24 and missed 11; so shortly I will listen to the missed ones. It wasn’t easy to find the wifi connection near some but not all the displays, artefacts and pictures.
I also bought the guidebook and started reading it when I was there.
“Hermitage Amsterdam opens unique exhibition: 1917. Romanovs & Revolution : From 4 February to 17 September 2017
A unique exhibition entitled 1917. Romanovs & Revolution. The End of Monarchy will open at the Hermitage Amsterdam in February 2017, exactly a century after the outbreak of the Russian Revolution. This will be the only showing of the exhibition in Western Europe. It will include over 250 items from the collections of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, the State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow, and the Artillery Museum in St Petersburg. Using films, photographs, paintings, objets d’art and historical documents, the show will tell the gripping story of fashionable St Petersburg and the art that flourished there in the early twentieth century, of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra, and of the explosive political and social circumstances of their reign. Visitors will see and hear how choices and decisions made by the tsar made revolution inevitable and spelled the inescapable end of the 300-year Romanov monarchy in Russia. They will also gain moving intimate insights into the final years of the imperial family, ending in their murder. 1917: the ultimate turning point in the history of Russia. The last tsar and the revolution, on exclusive show in Amsterdam a century after the event.
The exhibition will run from 4 February to 17 September 2017.
Top exhibits will include items from the imperial couple’s wardrobe, portraits of the royal pair, their children’s toys and drawings, Nicholas’s Act of Abdication (facsimile), works of art created at the period (Russia’s ‘Silver Age’), various Fabergé objects and one of the murder weapons.”
Portrait of Tsar Nicholas II by Ilya Repin, 1895
Engagement Photograph of Princess Alix of Hesse to Tsarevitch Nikolay, 1894 by Hughes & Mullin, Isle of Wight
Leaving The Hermitage on a Chilly Friday Afternoon