On my recent visit to Holland, sponsored by the Netherlands Board of Tourism, we ventured up to The Hague (Den Haag) for the Dutch Fashion Awards and some museums. Though it wasn't originally on the itinerary, everyone on the trip was dying to see the Escher Museum (Escher in het Paleis).
The museum is located in the royal Lange Voorhout Palace, and features well kept original fixtures as well as several rooms dedicated to showing what the winter palace of Queen Mother Emma used to look like. Since then, the legendary Dutch graphic artist who's still blowing our minds almost 40 years after his death has been moved in, and the juxtaposition of decadence and mind-bending art is surprisingly harmonious.
If you're taking a trip to Amsterdam, a 45-minute trek up to The Hague is worth it just to see the museum, which not only has a far more extensive Escher collection than any of us believed was possible, but which also features a stunning array of crystal chandeliers in almost every room.
The chandeliers, like the enormous "Rain Cloud" in the foyer (above), are all works by Hans van Bentem (1965), a ceramics and glass artist from Rotterdam who happens to have a penchant for designing elaborate and unusual chandeliers. How unusual are they? Check out the gallery for a crystallized firefly, shark, trophy, umbrella, seahorse and more. The Hans van Bentem chandeliers are an exhibit all their own, and have appeared in the museum's formerly royal rooms since 2003. This is the full collection:
This trip was paid for by the Netherlands Board of Tourism, but the ideas and opinions expressed in the article above are 100% my own.