THE NETHERLANDS: AMSTERDAM - UTRECHT - ROTTERDAM
April 12-23, 2023
7 participants maximum
There is a plethora of things to experience in this clean, organized, advanced country. Known for it's tolerance and diversity, this destination is sure to not disappoint you with the array of eclectic industries, phenomenal architectural displays and world renown museums. If you like Vincent Van Gogh's art, I gave over 30 lectures on the subject in Universities and Museums. I will be happy to take you to the three largest collections of his paintings: the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.
The below descriptions of sites are ideas about what can be seen as major "attractions," but on my tours we are flexible.
It is a like a private tour, where you are guided, which doesn't mean that you have to see places you don't want to visit.
There many other things we can do, exploring neighborhoods, going shopping, visiting galleries, sitting in a cafe watching people go by.
You have a choice and because we are not a large group , we have the freedom to change the schedule of the day.
Being guided, give you the insurance that you are not going to get lost, that you will see the important places you want to see and that you can rely on my knowledge to discover places you didn't know existed.
WE WALK, SEE, WATCH, VISIT, DISCUSS, GET INFORMATION. IT IS LIVE AND LIVELY.
INCLUDED IN PRICE:
5 nights in Amsterdam - 1 night in Utrecht - 4 in Rotterdam
9 Breakfasts - 9 lunches - 4 dinners
transportation while on the tour - Books - Maps - Entrance to all the sites, even those on spur of moment
Pick up at Amsterdam Airport - Medical and Accident Insurance.
UP to 28 to 30 HSW CEU/LU
$ 4800 per person in double occupancy
$ 5500 per person in single occupancy
Day One: Wednesday April 12: Leave the US to fly to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)
(Air fare not included)
Day Two: Thursday April 13: (L1-D1) Night 1 Amsterdam:
Pick up at airport to go to hotel. We will have lunch and get a bit of orientation about the city.
Dinner with the group. Night in Amsterdam
Day Three: Friday April 14: (B1-L2) Night 2 Amsterdam:
We will visit ARCAM (architecture and urban design of Amsterdam), designed by architect René van Zuuk, the building alone is worth a visit, with its unique shape and beautiful views over the Oosterdok. There you will have a chronological overview of Amsterdam’s architectural history, as well as current and future developments.
After, during a two-hour guided walk, we will discover the highlights of the area, such as the National Maritime Museum designed by Renzo Piano, the Central Library and the A’DAM Tower. The tour ends at the iconic EYE Film Museum after a scenic ferry ride crossing the IJ river.
4 HSW CEU
Amsterdam has some of the most advanced Green Buildings in the World, including a few, which may be the greenest of all.
Dinner on your own - Night in Amsterdam
Day Four: Saturday April 15: (B2-L3) Night 3 Amsterdam:
Van Gogh Museum: the museum which opened in 1973, was designed by a great 20th Century Dutch architect, Gerrit Rietveld and enlarged in 1998 by a leading Japanesee architects with major works World wide, Kisho Kurokowa. We will also have the pleasure to visit one of the most important 20th Century house designed by Rietveld when we travel to Utrecht: the Rietveld Schröder House.
The Van Gogh Museum had another renovation and modernization in 2012 and contain the World's largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings. Some off course are very famous:
Avenue of Poplars in Autumn (1884) - The Potato Eaters (1885)
Agostina Segatori Sitting in the Café du Tambourin (1887)
View of Paris from Vincent's Room in the Rue Lepic (1887)
Bedroom in Arles (1888) - The Yellow House (1888) - Sunflowers (1889)
His selected works from Saint-Rémy (1889–1890):
Almond Blossoms (1890) - Wheatfield with Crows (1890)
I I can tell you a lot about each of them and about a few hundreds more as well as details of a dramatic life, during which his intense desire to have a loving relationship with a woman was never fulfilled.
The museum provides opportunities to track the artist's development and compare his paintings to works by other artists from the 19th century – those who inspired him and those who drew inspiration from him. 2 HSW CEU
The National Rijks Museum: The Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s grandest and most popular museums. Its vast collection showcases iconic art and a wide variety of artefacts that reflect more than 800 years of Dutch and global history, including jaw dropping paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Van Gogh and countless more Dutch greats.
Stedelijk Museum. A visit to the Stedelijk Museum takes the visitor on a journey through the last 150 years of art, presenting the best of modern art in Amsterdam. Iconic works by Karel Appel, Cézanne, Chagall, Marlene Dumas, Kandinsky, Edward Kienholz, De Kooning, Koons, Malevich, Matisse, Mondrian, Picasso, Pollock, Gerrit Rietveld, Warhol and many others are on show.
The Stedelijk Museum’s design collection also traces the history of design from the turn of the last century to the present, showcasing furniture, ceramics, posters, jewelry and other objects. 2HSW CEU
Night in Amsterdam
Day Five: Sunday April 16: (B3-L4) Night 4 Amsterdam:
The Amsterdam School of Architecture is a movement, a style that has roots in Expressionist architecture, borrowing elements from the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) and Art Deco design aesthetic, and the aim was to create a total architectural experience – so designers paid great attention to both the interior and the exterior of each building.
Due to the socialist ideals of its founders, the Amsterdam School style was often applied to housing estates for the working class, government institutions and schools.
Many examples of this style can still be found in Amsterdam today, with some of the finest examples including Het Schip (now housing a museum dedicated to the movement) and Het Sieraad. 4 HSW CEU
Day Six: Monday April 17: (B4-L5-D2)
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn’s home and workshop. For twenty years the Netherlands’ greatest artist lived and worked in this impressive building in the heart of Amsterdam, now a museum giving visitors a complete Rembrandt experience. The house has been meticulously refurbished with furniture, art and objects from that time.
Ann Frank House: Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who went, together with seven others, into hiding in a secret annex of a commercial building in Amsterdam during World War Two, to escape from the Nazis. After two years and one month in hiding they were anonymously betrayed to Nazi authorities, arrested and deported first to Auschwitz and later to the Bergen-Belsen camp where she died of malnourishment and of a Typhus epidemic that killed 17,000 prisoners. Anne’s father, Otto Frank, who was imprisoned in Auschwitz, is the only one of the eight people to survive. After her death Anne became famous because of the diary she wrote while in hiding, which was kept throughout the war by Miep Gies, one of the persons who helped the group with what they needed in order to survive.
Dinner on your own - Night in Amsterdam
Day Seven: Tuesday April 18: (B5-L6-D3) Night 1 Utrecht:
One hour after leaving Amsterdam, we will just drive through Nieuwland, a neighborhood in the town of Amersfoort, comprised of 649 houses of which, 501 of them are powered by solar panels as well as a school and a sport center. This creates about 54% of that neighborhood’s needs. Being from Florida and knowing how North this town is, I wonder why our sunny state is not loaded with cities having roofs covered with solar panels like Amersfoort. 2 HSW
Then 40 minutes later we will be at the Kröller-Müller Museum, located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park, a wonderful place with a sculpture garden within the forest park, of more than 75 acres and one of the largest in Europe, with a fine collection of modern and contemporary sculptures. The garden reflects Helene Kröller-Müller's conception of a symbiosis between art, architecture and nature.
The collection includes works by Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Jean Dubuffet, Mark di Suvero, Lucio Fontana, Claes Oldenburg, Fritz Wotruba, Joep van Lieshout and many more.
The Kröller-Müller Museum has the second largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings. In the collection one can find works by Piet Mondrian, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Odilon Redon, Georges Braque, Paul Gauguin, Lucas Cranach, James Ensor, Juan Gris, and Pablo Picasso.
The museum was designed by Belgian architect Henry van de Velde, who also was the Director of the School of Arts and Crafts at Great Ducal Saxon Art School in Weimar prior to WWII, where he designed the school buildings. After the war, he refused to go back as a director and suggested Walter Gropius for the position. Gropius then changed the name of the school. It became the Staatliches Bauhaus, and became one of the most influential school in the development of modern architecture and modern furniture.
The flat packaging very dear to IKEA was developed at the Bauhaus School after it moved to Dessau in 1925 and so was the first chair made out of tubes, the B3, also known later as the Wasily Chair, designed by Marcel Breuer in 1926. 2 HSW
We will have lunch at the Museum.
Then to Utrecht to spend the night in a charming smaller town.
Day Eight: Wednesday April 19: (B6-L7-D4) Night 1 Rotterdam:
In the morning, we will visit a very important 20 Century house built in 1925, the year of the great exhibition called: Exposition internationale des arts decoratifs et industriels modernes," held in Paris from April to October which will be known as the Art Deco Expo, and would give its name to the architectural and decorative movement.
The Rietveld Schröder House constitutes both inside and outside a radical break with all architecture before it, making no attempt to relate to its neighboring buildings.
"...We didn't avoid older styles because they were ugly, or because we couldn't reproduce them, but because our own times demanded their own form, I mean, their own manifestation. It was of course extremely difficult to achieve all this in spite of the building regulations and that's why the interior of the downstairs part of the house is somewhat traditional, I mean with fixed walls. But upstairs we simply called it and 'attic' and that's where we actually made the house we wanted."
Gerrit Rietveld - 2 HSW CEU
The ground floor is traditional, for having walls creating three sitting rooms/bedrooms and a kitchen around a central staircase. The living area upstairs, was declared an attic to satisfy the fire regulations of the planning authorities. It widely open except for a toilet and a bathroom. Rietveld wanted to leave the upper level as it was. But his client, Mrs Schröder and her three children, felt that as living space it should be usable either opened or subdivided by the movement of sliding and revolving panels. This living area, when subdivided has three bedrooms, the bathroom and a living room. The interesting thing, off course, is that there are multiple combinations.
We will also visit an apartment building designed by Rietveld and look into one of lodging which is furnished as it was designed by the architect.
We will have a short drive to the Hague on our way to Rotterdam, to visit another great museum: the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
The museum, a magnificent Art Deco building, designed by the Dutch architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage, was built 1931–1935. He is considered the father of Dutch modern architecture. After a visit to the US in 1911, he became influenced by F.L. Wright and helped the dissemination of Wright's ideas in Europe, and especially in Germany.
The museum has the largest Piet Mondrian collection in the world. His last work, Victory Boogie-Woogie, is on display here. There are also works by Monet, Picasso, Kandinsky, Sol Lewitt, Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois. 2 HSW CEU
Dinner with the group. Night Rotterdam
Day Nine: thursday April 20: (B7-L8): Night 2 Rotterdam
Central Station has had a total makeover in recent years, making the station one of the most iconic architectural features in Rotterdam. The roof over the tracks is partly covered in solar panels, continuing uninterrupted into the angled roof over the station hall. Its point aims towards the city center. A number of historic elements from the former station building (1957) by Sybold van Ravesteyn have remained intact, such as the original clock in the front façade, the letters spelling out Centraal Station (now in LED lights) and the ‘speculaasjes’, two granite sculptures on platform 1. 2 HSW CEU
De Markthal: You'll find an indoor market hall in various world-class cities, but the combination with luxury housing makes Rotterdam's Markthal the first of its kind. The apartments are draped over the food market in a horseshoe configuration. The Markthal has about 100 fresh food stands, nearly 15 food shops and various restaurants, with a supermarket and a four-level underground car park below. As you wander among the market stands, look up to enjoy the massive artwork sprawling across the ceiling: the 'Horn of Plenty' by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam. Thanks to this grand span of art, the Markthal has been referred to as the Dutch version of the Sistine Chapel.The Markthal also includes the Tijdtrap: an exhibition of archaeological finds from medieval Rotterdam excavated during the building's construction, now on public display for free. The Markthal is open seven days a week until 20:00. 2 HSW CEU
The Cube Houses (or Pole Houses or Tree Houses) designed by architect Piet Blom are part of the Blaakse Bos development which borders on the Laurenskwartier district and the Waterfront area. The Kijk-Kubus (Show-Cube) is a furnished museum house, specially designed and constructed to let the visitor experience what life is like in a Cube House. Models, photo-panels and screens provide extra information about the Blaakse Bos housing development. The architect wanted to design a kind of village within the city and saw the houses as trees and the whole development area as a wood. The Cube Houses are tipped to one side as it were, making thee sides face the ground and three face the sky. Small-scale businesses, shops, a school and a children’s playground are on the traffic-free promenade below.
Day Ten: Friday April 21: (B8-L9) Night 3 Rotterdam:
We will visit the Maeslant storm surge barrier, the last part of the Dutch Delta Works with the world’s largest movable barrier. This impressive construction cannot be described in words, only experienced, which why we will be going to see how the Dutch protect their land. Over 30% of it is below see level. A third of wind mills you see all over the country were mostly to power a pumping system to prevent floods. The other were mustard mills, hemp mills, grain mills, snuff mills, cocoa mills, oil mills, chalk mills, paint mills and saw mills.
The Delta Works was started in 1953 after several dykes gave way under a violent storm that killed over 1850 people. Our visit will make us understand what happened and how a similar problem could be solved and will introduce us to some amazing construction and technological wonders. 2 HSW CEU
Dinner with group. Night in Rotterdam
Day Eleven: Saturday April 22: (B10-L11-D4) Night 4 Rotterdam
We will visit the DEPOT, a huge bawl covered with reflecting material, housing the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility, designed by the architectural firm MVRDV. It is the first building in the world that makes a museum’s entire collection public while also providing behind-the-scenes glimpses of how a museum works. In addition, it provides space to store private and corporate collections. The Depot is a gesamtkunstwerk and a new design icon for Rotterdam. 2 HSW CEU
Kunsthal Rotterdam is housed in a striking building designed by Rotterdam's OMA/Rem Koolhaas architectural practice and was opened in 1992. Since then, the Kunsthal has put culture in the widest sense of the word on show, from elitist to popular. There are always a number of exhibitions to see, both large and small-scale, from old masters to contemporary art, from innovative design to engaging photography. 2 HSW CEU
Sonneveld House Museum, situated on the edge of Museumpark in Rotterdam, is one of the best-preserved homes built in the Dutch Functionalist style. It was designed in the 1930s by architecture office Brinkman and Van der Vlugt, renowned for the Van Nelle Factory and Feyenoord Stadium. They also worked on the interior in close collaboration with W.H. Gispen. Sonneveld House shows how a prominent Rotterdam family embraced modernism, and how that choice coloured their everyday surroundings. The interior has been enriched with art and utensils acquired through donations, purchases and loans. A ‘designer-in-residence’ programme invites contemporary designers to respond to the house and interior with present-day design interventions.
Sonneveld House, which enjoys national heritage status, was opened to the public in 2001 after undergoing restoration work to recreate the original condition of the house and interior. Sonneveld House has, however, enjoyed a long history and been home to various residents. Above all else, the museum had to reconstruct the house of the Sonnevelds and offer a glimpse of how they lived there at the time. The benchmark for the restoration was therefore the condition of house when it was completed in 1933. Alterations made to the house while it was occupied by the Sonneveld family were also regarded as authentic. All alterations made after the family’s departure have been reversed.
Sonneveld House adheres not only to the principles of Functionalism but also to the five points that Le Corbusier formulated in his book Vers une architecture (1921).Les pilotis: the core of the building stands on columns, free from the ground. Le toit-jardin: balconies and roof terraces form the transition between inside and outside. Le plan libre: the skeletal structure creates an open floor plan without load bearing walls. La façade libre: the façades are not load bearing. 2 HSW
Dinner with the group - Night in Rotterdam
Day Twelve: sunday April 23: (B9)
Take a 20 minutes train ride to go to the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. (AMS) or we will drive you. You should be home by late afternoon.