Do you know the Open Air Museum?

A museum open to the public since 1918 with the only scope to preserve the history, the culture, and the tradition of The Netherlands from the changes due to the industrial progress. A progress started in the 19th century and still ongoing.

Open Air Museum Arnhem - View from the bridge
Open Air Museum (Arnhem) – View from the bridge. Wind mill and lake in a background of nature.

After you show the ticket at the entrance, you are immediately immersed in this wonderful environment of pure nature mixed to architectural traditions: windmills, houses, farms. Close to the entrance also the tram number 12 ready for the departure. People that literally jump enthusiastically inside looking forward to start this scenic tour around the park.

Open Air Museum Arnhem - Tram number 12.
Open Air Museum (Arnhem) – Tram number 12.

On the left side of the tram station a path where to start the walk. You will have your first encounter with the typical style of homes, until you arrive to the white bridge that lay above the blue lake surrounded by green houses and some of the dozens of mills of the museum. Here you can relax one minute admiring the view and hearing the quack of the ducks.

Open Air Museum Arnhem - The bridge
Open Air Museum (Arnhem) – View of the bridge. Ancient style of Dutch houses in the background.
Open Air Museum Arnhem - Bakery
Open Air Museum (Arnhem) – Bakery

Carrying on along the path, you will arrive to the park’s center. Here restaurants, bakery, and coffee can satisfy your needs. And if necessary the biological ones, too. Or you can eat your own sandwiches in one the picnic table. If you go with your family and/or with your child(ren), you can also decide to play to the hi-striker, becoming yourself child for one day.

In the same area you can learn how to manufacture the famous wooden shoes or clogs (klompen) according to the tradition and with the traditional tools. One time I was taking pictures in one of the farm-areas nearby Millingen aan de Rijn, and I saw personally an old man that was working the land dressing a pair of klompen. So it looks like that this tradition is still alive in some places.

After the brake, you can continue the walk visiting all the old houses. You can enter in most of them. Inside people showing ancient agricultural methods and dressing costumes in order to make the whole more realistic. You can also see how to build a wooden ship. Two men inside working on  the frame. The third outside bending a piece of wood with the flame of a torch. And if you have time left, you can visit the collection of all the daily life objects, tools, and pictures, from 19th century forth.


I think it is nice place where to go one day and enjoy the tradition of a country in an open air. To learn how the Dutch ancestors were used to leave and to produce with their own hands what they needed. If you have children, they will enjoy… a lot. And I am sure you too.

Salvatore Castelli

Salvatore Castelli is a amateur and passionate photographer and writer. His interest is to share with other what he know and what he sees. And the way he sees. In the world there are a lot of things that need to be discovered. Both bad and nice. And this is his mission.
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