Netherlands Open Air Museum

Nederlands Openluchtmuseum

In 1912 a group of private individuals who were concerned about increasing industrialisation and urbanisation threatening The Netherlands rich heritage of traditions and regional diversity set up an open air museum in Arnhem. The founders leased the Waterberg estate from the city of Arnhem and transferred six buildings to the grounds. The Netherlands Open Air Museum opened its doors to the public on 13 July 1918. In 1941 the museum temporarily became the ‘National Folk Museum’, and experienced a number of difficult years during the Second World War.

On 1 January 1991 'The Netherlands Open Air Museum Foundation' assumed full responsibility for the continued existence of the museum. Its buildings and objects, however, remained the property of the state. The government provides the foundation with an annual subsidy for management and maintenance, but the museum itself is responsible for operation.

The Netherlands Open Air Museum is a national museum focusing on the culture associated with the everyday lives of ordinary people.

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