The Rijksmuseum is probably the best-known museum in Amsterdam. The museum’s garden is less familiar even though there is no entrance fee! There is no doubt about it this garden is beautifully maintained – flowerbeds with flowering summer plants, gazebos and fountains. The garden is special because of its fine collection of historical sculptures, the city gate and the ‘fragments building’.
The special feature of this garden is some old ruins. At the end of the nineteenth century this colourful garden was embellished with a mixed collection of remains of old, often demolished, buildings. These ruins now form a permanent exhibition showing five centuries of Dutch architecture – from Gothic columns to the Herepoort, the original City Gate of the city of Groningen.
The ‘Fragments Building’
The fragments building, now the Philips Wing of the Rijksmuseum, is entirely made up of building fragments of monuments demolished in the late nineteenth century. The result is a mishmash of pillars, lion masks and garlands. This fragments building was built in 1890, five years after the opening of the Rijksmuseum. The fragments building is now used for special exhibitions, the museum restaurant is also located here.
Special Garden Exhibition
Every year a special outdoor exhibition is held in Rijksmuseum Garden. This year (2016) works of Guiseppe Penone are on show. This Italian sculpture is best known for his trees; a bronze tree carrying a block of granite between its branches, a tree trunk with water pouring out from it inside are only two of the twenty-two sculptures on display in the garden of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The exhibition is held from 10 June to 2 October 2016.