Museum of the 20th Century
Krententuin 24 (Oostereiland)
1621 DG Hoorn (NH)
Free AudioTour in English!
Museum of the 20th Century
This unique museum opened in 1994 and houses an impressive
collection of objects from the 20th Century that will appeal to
both young and old alike! Your visit will take you on a
nostalgic journey through the last century with something for
everyone, from young children to their grandparents. An
English audio tour is available at the reception free of
The Museum moved in 2011 to imposing new premises on
Oostereiland (Eastern Island) in the historic harbor of
Hoorn. The Museum has a lift and excellent facilities for
disabled people as well as a Museum Shop, where you will find a
large selection of books and interesting and nostalgic gifts.
Over a two-year period the former prison complex “De
Krententuin” was transformed to accommodate not only the Museum of
the 20th Century but also Cinema Oostereiland, together with a
comfortable Brasserie and a Tourist Information Centre. The
Brasserie is an ideal venue to relax for a snack, a meal or a
drink. It has a superb panoramic view over the IJsselmeer and
Julianapark. A similar view of Hoorn and the IJsselmeer can
be enjoyed from the whole of Oostereiland. During the summer
the harbor bustles with pleasure boats, old Dutch barges and cruise
In the permanent Museum Collection you will find many familiar but
long forgotten items from the last century. These include the
first electrical gadgets and household equipment, to classical
children’s toys and games. Children can enjoy playing with
Lego and the younger children can entertain themselves with Thomas
the Tank Engine. You can visit a high street with
Baker’s Shop, Haberdashery, Hairdresser, Printers, and then wander
through the rooms styled according to the different decades of the
20th century. There is also a classroom with wooden desks and
during school holidays sometimes children can sit in on a real
lesson, as lessons were given in the last century.
Our current temporary exhibition is:
PLAMOBIL,40 YearsJoyof Playing
3 April 2015 – 3 January 2016, Museum of the 20th Century,
Krententuin 24, (Oostereiland), www.museumhoorn.nl
The first PLAYMOBIL figures started their career back in 1974
smiling brightly into the world. Now years later, they have
won the hearts of millions of children around the world and
countless youngsters have played with them at one time or
The exhibition now taking place in the Museum of the 20th
Century PLAYMOBIL, 40 years Joy of Playing is a spectacular
event that you will definitely not want to miss.
The highlight of the exhibition is a gigantic, intricately built
landscape containing hundreds of thousands of PLAYMOBIL figures. In
other large showcases several further complete PLAYMOBIL scenes
have been created. The exhibition also contains three dimensional
models with endless detailing and a staggering scale of Pirates,
Noah’s Ark, and SeaWorld.
As large-as-life PLAYMOBIL figures: man-sized pirates,
princesses and robots, and even a supersized dragon. However,
it’s not just merely looking at this exhibition: there’s plenty you
can also do yourself! Special areas have been created
throughout the Museum where you can play games, plus other
locations where you can immortalise the moment with a stunning
History and development
The widely popular toy PLAYMOBIL is manufactured by the German
company Geobra Brandstätter. In the early seventies, Hans Beck,
head of the development department, invented the PLAYMOBIL toy
figures and created a whole new toy concept with it. Today, the
firm has produced over 2.7 billion figures. If you stood them all
up on their feet with their arms held wide, you would get a chain
that could stretch around the world three times.
The first PLAYMOBIL figures created in 1974 looked quite
different to the ones you see today. They had a monochrome body,
simple hairdos and their hands were fixed, but they already had the
familiar smiling face. The prototypes produced were a knight, a
construction worker and a Native American Indian. These and all
other early types are included in the exhibition together with the
history of PLAYMOBIL and the Geobra Company.
This exhibition was organized with the full cooperation of
PLAYMOBIL, PLAYMOBIL BENELUX and several private collectors from
The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium.
The Edison Room – a feast for eyes and ears
The Museum exhibits in its Edison Room a stunning collection of
audio material from the beginning of the last century. We are
privileged to have Jelle Attema’s collection of phonographs and
gramophones on loan to our Museum. The Edison Room conjures
up the authentic sphere from the 1900’s until the 1930’s.
We are located on Oostereiland, a peninsula in the harbor of
Hoorn is not far away from Amsterdam!
By car from Amsterdam it takes about 25 minutes to Hoorn.
By train from Amsterdam it takes about 33 minutes. There are two
fast trains per hour.
Directions by car
Hoorn is on the A7 (Amsterdam – Afsluitdijk – Leeuwarden).
You take the junction Hoorn (not West or Noord) and you follow the
blue ANWB (Tourist Office) signs HAVENS and by P-HAVENS you can
park your car free of charge. You would then walk for about
10 minutes to the Centrum (Centre) of Hoorn and you will see the
Green Arrows/signs for the Museum of the 20th Century. The
Route planner would take you directly to the Museum itself where
you cannot park so please follow the above directions.
Parking in Hoorn
The whole of the centre of Hoorn is PAID parking! Most of
the places are for Permit Holders only. It is sensible
therefore to park free of charge by P-HAVENS (Parking De Nieuwe
Wal). On Oostereiland only invalid parking is available. If
you are bringing goods to the Museum or if you are an invalid or
semi invalid you can announce this by the parking barrier at the
back of the Oostereiland. The barrier would then be
Touring Cars and Busses
Busses cannot arrive in front of the Museum of the 20th
Century. They should drop and pick up their passengers at the
beginning of Visserseiland about 200 meters away from the Museum.
Busses can also park on the parking lot De Nieuwe Wal, see
You should take the train to the main station of HOORN and then
follow the green arrows “musea” and ‘Museum van de Twintigste
Eeuw’. It is a pleasant walk taking about 20 minutes through
the historic old centre of Hoorn. You can also take a
taxi. There are small open electric tourist busses which
would also bring you from the Station to the Museum of the 20th