Embassy Of The Free Mind
Embassy Of The Free Mind
4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Nestled in the heart of Amsterdam within the majestic 17th-century ‘House with the Heads’ on Keizersgracht 123, the Embassy of the Free Mind is a beacon for creatives and freethinkers who dare to challenge the status quo. This international meeting place, a museum enriched with the collection of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, is more than just a building: it’s a vibrant hub of innovation and inspiration. In this stunning venue, visitors are drawn not only to the architectural beauty and alchemical garden but are also captivated by the wisdom housed within its walls. The museum brings to life the insights of over 30,000 books, all offering a journey through the intertwined realms of science and spirituality, showcasing the interconnectedness of all knowledge and echoing the hermetic idea that All is One. As a community space featuring a versatile programme of tours, lectures, venue hire and workshops, the museum includes a reading room, café, great hall, and exhibition room.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Neighborhood: Centrum
Amsterdam’s buzzing hub, with its sprawling network of tram rails and a seemingly constant flow of tourists and commuters, yields convenient access to some of the best sightseeing, shopping, and street life in Europe. Closest at hand are the Royal Palace, the quaint shops of Haalremmerdijk, the pedestrianized zones Kalverstraat and Dam Square with popular neighborhoods such as the Red Light District, and the Canal Ring hardly more than a moment’s stroll away. With the well-connected Centraal Station as Centrum’s base, it's easy to travel farther afield via one of the city’s iconic trams.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles73 reviews
Excellent
32
Very good
33
Average
3
Poor
4
Terrible
1

C P
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
The Embassy of the Free Mind is one of the BEST places to be in the whole world. To truly appreciate it, I suggest doing some research as to the resources available there. Perhaps, start with The Ritman Library documentary by S. Ferro & C. Weil. Mr. Ritman and the enthusiastic staff showcase not only the rare, first & early edition books and manuscripts, but also their love and passion for their incredible treasury of gnostic, hermetic, Rosicrucian and theosophical knowledge, to name a few.

All the members of the staff, volunteers and regular visitors are incredibly personable and made me feel at home. The free and open communication and sharing of ideas, no matter the level of study, provides any student of life with the freedom and space to either begin a journey into the self or to add to one’s enlightenment in a safe and accepting space.

There is no other place that can offer an amalgamation of diverse texts on wisdom. Some of the books in the Rare collection were published in the 1400s, but the knowledge goes back farther than the past couple of centuries. When you are ready to ask yourself what life is about, all you have to do is browse through the books. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find. Then you’ll realize it’s 5:00 PM, and you’ll want to come back for the rest of the 24,000+ books! I suggest all the tours: Daily Tour, Rare Books, The Grail and any exhibit. Visit the website to see which collections appeal to you, likely all of them because all the ideas are connected by threads that begin to bring ideas into focus, depending on who you are (or who you are becoming)!

The building itself has a rich history. Please remember that admission isn’t free – it’s your mind that is given the space to be free to explore and create your own understanding. Imagine a place in which you can view something and engage in meaningful conversation with the text, with other people, with yourself. You can’t put a price tag on that.

What places the Embassy of the Free Mind above all other museums & libraries is the fact that each of the books and prints offers seeds of knowledge and wisdom from which any individual can grow and become aware of her/his place in the world and be connected with something greater. Perhaps, when you are so moved, you will even be inspired to act. Thank you to everyone at the Embassy of the Free Mind. I am grateful.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Charmaine, your review touched us deeply and we are very grateful to have received you as our visitor. This is exactly what we aim for, to be a warm and welcoming place from people from all over the world, and to be a place of discovery inspiring people to act upon their inner wisdom. We hope the inspiration of your visit carries on until your next time in Amsterdam, we look forward to welcoming you again!
Written July 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Penny
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
This museum is absolutely profound. It never advances commonplaces understandings or assumptions concerning artists with a 'free mind'. I appreciated the approach through which it is not explicitly stated how these artists have mental or physical disabilities, and rather their empowerment is remarked all throughout the experience. A must in Amsterdam for museum lovers.
Written October 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joe C
San Diego, CA24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Solo
Tucked discreetly away in a non-descript narrow street of Amsterdam's Jordaan district, this amazing library/museum is cloaked in the inconspicuous, low-key charm of the neighborhood; small stores and flats shoulder to shoulder. Without the small brass panel near the door, this gem of a library would be nearly impossible to find..perhaps destiny seeks those who eventually find this space.

This magical journey begins with a press of the buzzer and the automatic door opening to this treasure trove of ancient illuminated, theosophical/philosophical and alchemical texts. This collection represents the life-long passion of Mr. Joost Ritman a local businessman and Rosicrucian. It is truly a national treasure, in my opinion on par with the Rembrandts of the nearby Rijksmuseum.

So who might find this museum intriguing? In my case, my interest in Carl Jung's idea of the 'Collective Sub-conscious' and the ancient symbols, archetypes and metaphors common to us all. For others perhaps an interest in ancient illuminated, 16th, 17th, 18th century texts. Indeed European History of Philosophy aficionados. Those with an interest in Dan Brown's books or Umberto Eco novels might find the library particularly intriguing.

On the other hand, this library is in my opinion not for large groups wishing to tick the box on places visited in Amsterdam. There are indeed plenty of museums to accommodate such groups.

I'm an American who's lived in Amsterdam for nearly 13 years and only recently discovered the Ritman. An exceptional find!
Written March 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marlies
Purmerend, The Netherlands66 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Solo
Small museum, but plenty to see
I recommend doing some research before you visit.
Despite the little brochure they gave me about the exhibition I'm still not sure what it's about
I was all by myself which felt a bit odd
As you may see it was (partially) under construction
Written July 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Edric_DR
Northampton, UK54 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Couples
Intrigued by its name, which google translates as Embassy for the Free Spirit, we went in, paid our money and looked around. I still have no idea what this is about.

It is a beautiful old house housing a library of "The Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica". I have no idea what that is either but something to do with author Dan Brown and the sort of historical mystical spiritual stuff you might find in his books. Some illustrations from the collection are reproduced and line the walls.

It would benifit massively by the addition of some descriptive text so that the casual visitor could glean an idea of what the hell they are are looking at and why it is considered important. Otherwise this is probably only of interest to someone studying or having an understanding of these obscure texts.
Written February 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brad
Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Solo
Huis Met Hoofden (House of Heads) is a historical property located along Keizersgracht. This property was built during the Dutch Golden Age in 1622 by Dutch architects, Hendrick and Pieter de Keyser and is famous for its architecture and the six busts which are boldly displayed as part of the building facade.

You can see this attractive building by walking along Keizersgracht or by canal boat ride as you pass by. For reference, this historic property is located just a few minutes from the Anne Frank House and Westerkerk. Notice the red brick facade with a step-gable structure. Just above door level, you will see the six heads for which the building takes its name, stretching the length of the building. These are of Apollo, Diana, Ceres, Bacchus, Minerva and Mercury.

Note: During October it was difficult seeing the Huis Met Hoofden facade through the trees and leaves when viewing from the other side of the canal. Best to walk on the side where the building is located for less obstructed views of the property.
Written October 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nancy D
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Friends
The ritman library has been on my personal bucket list for a while now, and visiting did not disappoint!
The building itself is beautiful, to see such a complete building in Amsterdam from this time period is wonderful. The contents of the collections in the library are awe inspiring, and the Kabbalah exhibit is so interesting.
From the moment we walked into the library, the wonderful staff welcomed us warmly, sharing their knowledge and passion for what they do.
I cannot thank the ritman family enough for their dedication and passion making this library public, as the wisdom contained in the library is so important and essential.
Thank you all! See you next month!
Written July 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Frank v
Amsterdam, The Netherlands2,067 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Business
Wow what a historic place and books of 2000 years of wisdom in the unique library in this place. Pretty amazing and I was there for key note speach. Will return to visit again
Written April 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Frank, how lovely to hear your enjoyed your time with us, thanks for sharing! We look forward to seeing you many more times :-)
Written April 30, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lisa H
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Friends
The most amazing part of the Embassy of the Free Mind (which is inside of the House with the Heads) is not just the amazing ancient wisdom, but above all how to allows you to connect with yourself and others, and recognise that in fact we are all connected when we look deep inside.
Written March 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
What a wonderful description Lisa, thank you so much and keep discovering back home! Hope to see you soon again :-)
Written March 13, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ronja
Hameenlinna, Finland77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Solo
Very friendly staff and service and an interesting variety of books and art. Definitely worth a visit!
Written February 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Ronja, hope to see you soon again!
Written February 19, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Embassy Of The Free Mind - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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