The Pieter Teyler House — Teylers Museum

The Pieter Teyler House

a visit is included in a regular museum visit

Dec 05, 2021 to Dec 31, 2030

After years of painstaking and extensive restoration, the Pieter Teyler House opened to the public on 5 December 2021, as a new wing to Teylers Museum. This unique historic building was the home of Pieter Teyler (1702-1778), the founding father of the Netherlands’ oldest museum, and the birthplace of Teylers Museum. Our aim is to be true to Pieter Teyler's Enlightenment ideals and to show the continuing relevance of these ideals to our own times.

Birthplace of Teylers Museum

Pieter Teyler was a wealthy Haarlem resident who left his fortune and house to a foundation set up with the express purpose of improving the lives of all. One of the results of this bequest was Teylers Museum, which opened in 1784, consisting at that time only of the Oval Room. Through the long and impressive marble corridor of the Teyler residence, visitors entered the Oval Room and marvelled at the latest scientific inventions and contemporary artworks. The museum welcomed famous guests such as Napoleon and Tsar Alexander – and much later Albert Einstein. The house is intimately connected to the museum, in terms of both physical structure and essence.

Unique Listed Building

Some of the rooms in the building, which was last renovated in 1715, are among the best-preserved historical interiors from the 18th-century Netherlands. Authentic architectural elements that have often long since disappeared elsewhere have been preserved here. The house covers 1,115 square metres. The ground floor will be open to the public, while guided tours and group visits will also be possible on the first floor. Designated first-floor rooms will be available for workshops and meetings.

Thorough and sustainable restoration

Since 2013, the large complex, which consists of four linked houses, has been thoroughly restored and returned as far as possible to its original state. After an initial phase focused on repairing the foundations and making structural improvements, work on restoring the exterior of the protected building in a sustainable way started in November 2019. In the course of restoring the historical interiors to their original state, pipes and installations such as the climate control and fire protection systems were concealed. These modifications will help to create a pleasant and safe environment for the public. The original colours have also been restored.

Enlightenment ideals central to the visitor’s experience

The Pieter Teyler House is one of the few places in the world where the Enlightenment is – quite literally – a tangible presence. The core idea of the Enlightenment, that everyone has the right to pursue happiness, was therefore the point of departure for the house’s design and function. Pieter Teyler believed practical inventions and discoveries were the best ways of making the world a better place. The restored house will create a link to the present. From November 2021 onwards, visitors will be invited to reflect on present-day views regarding how to make society better for everyone and how art and science can contribute to that goal.

So, be our guest in this impressive building and in the rooms on the ground floor, discover how the ideals of Pieter Teyler are inextricably linked with the rich and complex history of the Teylers Institute.