Art and history by rail-2017/04/22-UK

 Itinerary

Day 1

Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Brussels and onwards to Dordrecht by local train. On arrival, transfer by coach to Amersfoort (approx. 1 hour) and Hotel NH Amersfoort.

Day 2

Full day tour to Haarlem. A relaxed pace of life and lovely historic centre makes Haarlem a delightful town to explore. A former centre of cloth-making, in the 17th century Haarlem became the place to be for a flourishing school of painters, much of whose work is displayed in the excellent Frans Hals Museum. Housed in a former almshouse, where Hals himself lived the last years of his life, the museum’s collection consists of works by Hals and a sample of Dutch paintings from the 15th century to the present day.

Day 3

Full day tour to Amsterdam, including the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. The largest city and capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam started life as a small fishing village and became one of the world’s most important ports during the Dutch Golden Age. Wander the narrow atmospheric lanes and canals lined with 17th century merchant’s houses and visit some of the many cultural and historic sites such as Anne Frank’s House and ‘Museum Our Lord in the Attic’. Reopened after renovation in early 2013, the Rijksmuseum is one of the world’s greatest art galleries with a collection that spans art and history, with masterpieces by Rembrandt, Hals and Vermeer plus a huge cache of sculptures and applied arts. Visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, home of the largest collection of works by Van Gogh in the world.

Day 4

Morning visit to Mondriaanhuis and free time in Amerfoort, with an afternoon tour to the Open-Air Museum, Arnhem. Mondriaanhuis was the birthplace of Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan, and it is here that you can learn about the life and work of the world famous artist. The city of Amersfoort is best known for its wellpreserved and protected medieval centre full of beautiful old buildings and atmospheric streets – keep an eye out for the original 14th century city gates. The Nederlands Openluchtmuseum, close to infamous Arnhem, showcases lovely old houses, farms and factories from different historical periods from all over the Netherlands. You’ll also find demonstrations of manufacturing in the traditional ways and even a heritage tram line.

Day 5

Full day tour to the Kröller-Müller Museum and Het Loo Palace. The Kröller-Müller is an art gallery and sculpture garden located in a national park – you can borrow a white bicycle to get from the park entrance to the museum if you wish. It is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of Van Gogh paintings in the world and also houses works by Mondrian, Seurat, Redon, Braque, Gauguin and Picasso. For 2015 only, the Kröller-Müller Museum will hold a special exhibition to celebrate the work of Van Gogh, for the 125th anniversary of his death. The museum was founded by art collector Helene Kröller-Müller who donated her collection to the state, now housed in a building designed by Henry van de Velde. Het Loo Palace is a symmetrical Dutch Baroque building built between 1684 and 1686 for William III of Orange who became King of England in 1689. Here there are beautiful formal gardens to stroll through and interiors with original furniture and paintings from the House of Orange-Nassau.

Day 6

Transfer back to Dordrecht station to catch the return local train to Brussels. At Brussels, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.

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