Whether by bicycle, tram, or car, Museum Rijswijk is a 15-minute trip from Den Haag’s city centre, but a world away by any other measure. Sure, you’re still in Holland. Some might argue (like me) that you’re still in Den Haag. But Oude Rijswijk is what the most popular parts of the oldest neighbourhoods in Holland would look like if there were zero tourists and only locals. That might be reason enough to check it out!
Museum Rijswijk sits in the centre of Oude Rijswijk, a neighbourhood full of old-growth trees, streets of cobblestone and brick, mom ‘n pop bakers and artisans, and of course several cafes. A walk around the neighbourhood is worth a full day in and of itself. But the museum is a fine example of what makes Dutch museums often so worthwhile: a commitment to the local. You likely won’t find a Vermeer or a Van Gogh on display here. But you will find an enormous and well-preserved collection of art, poetry, maps and other historical documents by artists and political figures from Rijswijk that stretches back several centuries. This is not an underfunded warehouse of odds and ends that calls itself a ‘museum.’ This is a museum intent on preserving a rich history worth experiencing on its own terms.