National Museum of Spectacles – A 700 year journey of fashionable eyewear

National Museum of Spectacles – A 700 year journey of fashionable eyewear


within Amsterdam’s exclusive 9 Streets, this fascinating museum exhibits a 700

year history of spectacles. The National

Museum of Spectacles is a family run business, which allows visitors the

opportunity to journey back in time and explore the changing styles and

fashions of eye wear.


situated along the city’s famous 9 Streets and set within an impressive

building, which dates back to the early 1600s, the National Museum of

Spectacles or Brilmuseum as it is also known provides an educational

alternative to the traditional art and culture which can be found in many of

Amsterdam’s renowned museums. The

museum, which is currently managed by Mijke Tuenissen, is the result of a

family’s love of glasses which spans over four generations.


to the museum, which is spread over two floors, is via an old fashioned optician’s

shop which is owned by the museum. Here,

you are able to purchase frames that can be up to 100 years old or ones similar

to those worn by stars such as Buddy Holly, together with the more modern,

contemporary spectacles that are worn today.

A flight

of stairs leads you to the museum itself, which showcases a fabulous collection

of spectacles and allows you to explore a rich, 700 year history of their

production. The museum’s aim is to

reflect on the art and culture of the frames and how styles have changed

throughout the years. Once in the

museum, you can feel the true passion that the family who own it have for their

particular interest.

The National Museum of Spectacles is definitely

worthy of a visit, is easily accessible from Amsterdam city centre on foot and

is open from Wednesday to Saturday. More

information, including an online shop, can be found on the museum’s website –