On 11 September 1883 Vincent van Gogh takes a train from The Hague to Drenthe. His brother Theo sent him money for the train fare. First Van Gogh spends two weeks in Hoogeveen before continuing by pulled barge to Nieuw-Amsterdam.
He lived in Nieuw-Amsterdam from 2 October to 4 December 1883, before going back to his parental home in Nuenen, North Brabant. These two months in Drenthe have been of great influence for the rest of his life.
The Van Gogh House in Nieuw-Amsterdam is the only public accessible building in the Netherlands where the master painter has lived and worked. You can visit Van Gogh’s room. His bed is still in the same place, his art supplies and paint are ready for use. It looks like Van Gogh left for a walk and may come back any time soon.
The white building was built around the year 1870. It was the first two-storey building in Nieuw-Amsterdam and at the time, the only building in Southeast Drenthe with a balcony. Over the years there have been several renovations and extensions.
In search of ordinary people
In 1883 Van Gogh spent two months at the boarding house in Drenthe. This was his base for his explorations through the local peat areas. Van Gogh wanted to paint ordinary people, in particular agricultural workers. Legend has it that Van Gogh paid the rent with paintings. The landlord didn’t appreciate this and used the paintings as firewood.
With a periscope you can see all kinds of ancient household utensils in the attic. During the guided tour you will learn a lot about Van Gogh’s life in Drenthe. You will hear about the approximately 40 works of art that he made during his time in Drenthe, and the 23 letters that he has written. In 22 letters to his brother Theo and one letter to his parents he writes about himself and about Drenthe.
The Gasterie, the current Van Gogh Restaurant, has been restored in the same way it looked in 1883. The small restaurant is open from 17.00 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From Monday to Thursday the restaurant is open by appointment for group of 10 or more people.
Tuesday to Sunday 13.00-17.00
Closed on Monday
Closed on public holidays
Easter Sunday 1 April 2018
Whit Sunday 20 May 2018
Christmas 25 and 26 December
Getting to Nieuw-Amsterdam by public transport
Take a train to Zwolle and transfer to the local train to Emmen. Get off at Nieuw-Amsterdam. When you exit the train station, go right and follow Veilingstraat southbound. When you can’t go any further, you see the white Van Gogh House already across the water. Before you cross the drawbridge, don’t forget to take a picture at the Nieuw-Amsterdam sign.
Location Van Gogh House
Van Goghstraat 1
7844 NP Veenoord
What else you can do in Nieuw-Amsterdam and Veenoord
Nieuw-Amsterdam and Veenoord are practically located next to each other. They are known as twin town (‘tweelingdorp’ in Dutch). It has a combined population of 7,200. The reason why these two towns have never formed a single town had to do with the location of the old municipal border.
Hiking and biking trails
In Nieuw-Amsterdam and Veenoord five painting frames have been placed at locations of Van Gogh’s paintings. These unbreakable glass frames are part of a Van Gogh hiking and biking trail (9km or 6km). A description of the route is for sale at the Van Gogh House.
Windmill ‘Nooit Gedacht’
The construction of the first windmill in Veenoord was completed in 1862. In 1904 the mill burned down to the ground, probably by a fallen oil lamp. That same year the windmill was rebuilt. Tragedy strikes again, when the mill burns down after being hit by lightning in 1916.
An obsolete windmill is being moved from Hankate (Overijssel) to Veenoord. This is not the first relocation for the windmill, as it was previously located in Leeuwarden and Heerenveen. It is a remarkable story that the demolition in Hankate began on 2 August 1916 and that the windmill was already in use again in Veenoord on 27 October of the same year.
Usually open on Saturday afternoon. You can also visit the windmill when you see it is operating on other days.
7844 NV Veenoord
Gallery Van Strien
The art gallery is located in a striking ancient farm, about 2.5km east of the Van Gogh House. In addition to five exhibitions each year, Galerie Van Strien presents a large collection of paintings, prints, ceramics and glass. When choosing works to be exhibited, the gallery owners are guided by their sense of quality and a preference for contemporary figurative art.
Saturday and Sunday 13.00-17.00
Other days by appointment
Galerie Van Strien
Vaart NZ 176
Every year on the third Friday of June the Night of Nieuw-Amsterdam takes place. This is a festival full of music, party and fun. Free entrance.
Visit the Facebook page for up-to-date information.
Friday 15 June 2018
Friday 21 June 2019
Friday 19 June 2020