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“Enjoyable art museum” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Frans Hals Museum

Frans Hals Museum
Groot Heiligland 62, Haarlem, The Netherlands (Centrum)
023-5115775
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Ranked #1 of 14 Attractions in Haarlem
Type: Art Museums, Museums
Activities: City walk sightseeing
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Attraction details
Owner description: This small museum focuses on the works of Frans Hals, 17th-century portrait painter.
Upland, California, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Enjoyable art museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Knew very little about Hals before we visited and now we feel like experts! We had purchased the Netherlands Museum pass, so we decided to take a quick trip inside. We ended up spending more time than we thought we would. Glad we didn't miss it.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Washington, DC
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“One of the great small museums of the world”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

Two hours will do it if you must, but come here to see why Frans Hals is rated by many Holland's greatest painter. If you disagree, look again at Hals's faces; They are as wonderfully painted as Rembrandt's but show more individual character, Lots of supporting art to put Hals in a rich context. Nicely laid out, well lit, altogether an up-to-date museum.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Top Contributor
270 reviews 270 reviews
189 attraction reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
153 helpful votes 153 helpful votes
“The great Frans Hals and" nightwatch"!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

I grew up with a picture of the Laughing Cavalier on our lounge room wall. This picture is not on show here, rather it is in London as the centrepiece of the Wallace collection. I was disappointed at first but then mellowed as I took in the wonderful collection before me.
I had no idea of the size of his "Nightwatch" painting and drawn by the crowds I discovered the work on display with two guardians hovering. This is necessary now as a nutter took a swipe at the masterpiece with a blade and caused some minor damage.
We caught a train from Amsterdam, about 30 minutes and then walked to Groot Heligigland to find the museum.
If you are visiting Amsterdam, make the effort and go to Haarlem and take in the beautiful works by Frans Hals.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Now in our top five of museums and painters!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

What a delight. Incredible building and history, delightful info on frans hals. Excellent 16 minute video i hope they keep showing forever as the museum does not itself have that many of his paintings, really, and they are not collected in one room. Just the right size. Not crowded when we were there. Go!

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
248 reviews 248 reviews
77 attraction reviews
Reviews in 188 cities Reviews in 188 cities
176 helpful votes 176 helpful votes
“Famous Militia paintings and more in nice museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

The museum is housed in the former Oude Mannenhuis (Old mens house) in a street called Groot Heiligland. (Great Holy Land). There is a special bus stop, conveniently named Frans Hals Museum, around the corner on a 5 minute walk. (August 2013, bus 3 from Central station)

The major attractions of course are the large paintings of the lively Banquets of the Officers of Militia of the 17th century. They are on display in a large room with a dining table in the middle with the food of the 17th century on display. This makes an interesting combination: the dining on the paintings and the life size model of a dining table in front of the paintings.

At the entrance of the museum is a large video wall with the story of Frans Hals and the evolution of his work. When I visited the narration was in Dutch only. Maybe ask at the front desk if any other language is available too.

Besides the Militia paintings there are the very lively portraits made by Frans Hals. Some are double portraits of married couples, on separate panels, the man on the left panel, his wife at his right.

The most beautiful Frans Hals painting in my opinion, the only one where he portrayed a couple on a single canvas, is on display in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (Couple in a garden: Wedding portrait of Isaac Abrahamsz. Massa and Beatrix van der Laan) Check that out when you are in the Rijksmuseum.

Other parts of the museum have fine paintings, some beautiful style rooms and interesting artefacts like 17th century furniture (clocks, chairs and chests). A separate room has a large dolls house.

Part of the museum has changing exhibitions on various themes. Check the museum’s website for details.

There is a small café for some drinks and light meals and a nice souvenir shop.

The area around the museum is very interesting to walk with centuries old small alleyways. It’s an easy, short walk to the central market with the St.Bavo Church and other museums.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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