The renewed passage below the Rijksmuseum
A couple of years ago, the Rijksmuseum was rebuilt and reopened to the public. In that renovation, they included the corridor. The main entrance of the National Museum is nowadays even in that particular hallway. With the renewal of the corridor, the old allure came back, and more.
Vibrance in the corridor
One of the beautiful things that happened because of the alteration is the presence of musicians who daily show their arts. Most of them are students from the conservatory and street musicians. They play a diversity of music, varying from classical violin and bass music to Balkan music and Exotic Caribbean oil drum.
Points of interest in the passage
Normally, one would just walk along the corridor. However, there are some interesting points and ‘secrets’ worth mentioning and looking at.
1. Old Dutch proverbs
The most visible points of interest are proverbs, written in Old Dutch on the walls of the passage. All saying are related to art.
2. The smuggling route
Look at the south side of the hall. Just before the road in the passage, you see a slot in the ceiling. This slot connects directly to the Night Watch room. They use this place to transport paintings. Just before World War II, in the middle of the night, museum workers put the Night Watch and other important artworks through this slot to a hiding place. Because of this slot or "groove", the paintings remained safe during the war and can still be seen in the Rijksmuseum today.
3. New corridor in old glory
During the rebuilding, they removed the whole bottom of the passage. They replaced the entire base by a more robust and modern one. This was for the good. Because they needed to pump the whole basement of the museum dry and waterproof it. With the reconstruction of the corridor, they replaced the old stone walls by large glass fronts. These fronts provide a good view of the entire museum. With the renovation, the walls and ceilings are completely restored in their former glory. That way, the history of the corridor is still present.
Royal Coster Diamonds and the Rijksmuseum
We have a special connection with the Rijksmuseum. The Museum is a lovely neighbor, which we have close ties with. In addition, the museum was the scene for the presentation of the Royal Predicate His Majesty King Willem Alexander gave us.
The Black Rembrandt
The Rijksmuseum was also the venue for a special unveiling of Royal Coster: “The Black Rembrandt”. In 2005, Rembrandt expert Gerry Schwartz unveiled this special diamond. It is a beautiful smooth black diamond of 42.27 carats. Uncut, this black diamond weighed over 125 carats. Polishing it was almost impossible. But thanks to the commitment and knowledge of some skilled and inspired grinders, they did it. The diamond polisher took three years and three days to cut the Black Rembrandt. This diamond is on display in the Diamond Museum Amsterdam.
Want to learn more about diamonds while you are in Amsterdam near the Rijksmuseum? Book a tour through our diamond factory