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Rijksmuseum ’80 Years’ War. The Birth of the Netherlands’

Rijksmuseum | 12 October 2018 t/m 12 October 2018 | past

Promo: Rijksmuseum – ’80 Years’ War. The Birth of the Netherlands’

Do you know how the Netherlands was founded? Come and learn more at the Rijksmuseum during the exhibition ’80 Years’ War. The Birth of the Netherlands’

The Beeldenstorm

The 80 Years’ War started 450 years ago. In the exhibition you will learn about the war from beginning to end. About how the arrival of Philip II led to an uprising against authority and church. Especially the nobility in the mainly Protestant northern part of the Netherlands was afraid of losing their power. The Protestants felt limited in expressing their faith since Philip II himself was a Catholic. In 1566 the Great Iconoclasm (beeldenstorm) broke loose. This revolt later changed into a civil war. This caused a split between the country and its people: between the northern and the southern part. One part was Protestant, and the other part Catholic. For the Protestants, true faith was the most important. To them this meant the word of God. They didn’t really like that the Catholics had so many sculptures and paintings. During the Great Iconoclasm, they revolted and destroyed a lot of things that could be found in the Catholic churches. In the Rijksmuseum you can view some of these destroyed statues as eyewitnesses to this period.


Tired of the war

The civil war had become a war between the states of Spain and the Netherlands. In the exhibition you will learn more about how this came to be, and about fights over cities such as Breda and Den Bosch. Fights that sometimes lasted for months. View the maps and drawings to get a better picture of the events that happened during the war. The war lasted for a long time, it was very expensive, and many lives were taken. People were tired of it all. In 1648 peace negotiations took place in Munster. This led to the end of the war and the birth of the Netherlands. These important documents can be seen in the exhibition as well.


Want to find out more? Watch this promo video and visit the Rijksmuseum. The exhibition can still be seen until the 20thof January.

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Museum info

Promo: Rijksmuseum – ’80 Years’ War. The Birth of the Netherlands’

Museumstraat 1
1071 XX Amsterdam

+31 (0) 20 6747 000

Opening times

Monday: 9.00 – 17.00
Tuesday: 9.00 – 17.00
Wednesday: 9.00 – 17.00
Thursday: 9.00 – 17.00
Friday: 9.00 – 17.00
Saturday: 9.00 – 17.00
Sunday: 9.00 – 17.00