Playing with the past

For those who found history lessons to be boring, here is a second chance. The Archeon living museum is a trip through all ages, giving visitors the opportunity to literally walk through a few thousands years of Dutch history in two-three hours. The museum brings the past to life through a careful reconstruction of buildings and artifacts from various periods. Prehistorical times, the Roman age and the Medieval period are resurrected before your eyes, with actors playing the parts of historical characters.

The museum’s buildings are either full-size models of archaeological finds, or they are built in the style of a particular era: a prehistoric village, a Roman villa, a bathhouse and a temple from the same period, or a Medieval town’s main street and a convent. The descriptions for each building offer a quick and accessible introduction to their story for whoever has the patience to read them. While the exhibits will not offer many surprises to a professional historian, they are a great introduction to Dutch history up to the Middle Ages. To give the museum an additional aura of respectability, in 2011 the Archaeology House South Holland was opened next to Archeon’s entrance. Housed in a replica of the Roman villa excavated in Rijswijk, it contains prehistoric and Roman finds from South Holland.

For children, theme events are organized throughout the year, such as gladiator fights, medieval ceremonies or tournaments. Moreover, Archeon hosts several festivals, such as the Midsummer Fair, the Midwinter Fair and the Roman Festival. All in all, it is a perfect opportunity for children to have their first contact with history, and for adults to refresh their memory. A great family destination for a Sunday afternoon.

See below the museum’s site:


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