Welcome to Museum Catharijneconvent!
A visit to medieval Utrecht is not complete without a visit to Museum Catharijneconvent. Wander the halls of a medieval monastery and be enchanted by the most beautiful collection of medieval art in the Netherlands.
Marvel at the glittering gold and silver in the Treasury, admire paintings by Rembrandt, Jan Steen and their contemporaries from the Golden Age and visit our unique temporary exhibitions.
Ode to Antwerp - An exhibition of masterpieces by Flemish and Dutch artists
14 May - 17 September 2023
Museum Catharijneconvent is delighted to announce that it has succeeded in assembling dozens of prize works by top-flight Flemish and Dutch artists for the first time in the exhibition Ode to Antwerp. It is high time this ode was written, because without sixteenth-century Antwerp the remarkable flowering of Dutch painting in the seventeenth century would never have taken place. From 14 May to 17 September 2023 great masters like Maerten de Vos, Frans Floris, Frans Hals, Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt van Rijn are on show, taking visitors with them on an exploration of a turbulent story in which the leading roles were played by religious and economic migrants. Never before has such a major and all-encompassing exhibition been devoted to the subject.
In the seventeenth century Antwerp was the leading mercantile metropolis of Western Europe. It was partly as a result that the city became the centre of art and the art trade. The beauty and quality of Antwerp art was unparalleled, and its artistic influence extended far beyond the frontiers of the Spanish Netherlands. New genres emerged, and for the first time there was an open market for art. Religious and political turmoil in the second half of the sixteenth century culminated in a tipping point.
From Antwerp to Amsterdam
In 1585, after a siege lasting for months, Antwerp surrendered to the Spanish. That Fall of Antwerp led to the final separation of the northern and southern Netherlands. The South remained Catholic and in Spanish hands, the North became independent and predominantly Protestant. The North blockaded the river Scheldt, cutting off the South’s principal trade route and ruining its economy. Those developments prompted a mass exodus of mainly Protestant artists and merchants to the North, now renamed the Republic of the United Netherlands. Amsterdam became the new Antwerp. Art and the economy flourished there like never before.
First time ever in the Netherlands
Ode to Antwerp will bring together 80 key works illustrating the vast influence that its new émigré citizens had on the art and art market of the Dutch Republic. The exhibition will not only be tracing the tumultuous history of one of the most highly prized artistic movements in the world, but will also provide a fascinating insight into the continuing exchange of artistic ideas between the Southern and Northern Netherlands. Light will be shed onto that by the many large and colourful canvases and panels, many of which have never been on display in the Netherlands before. It will be a feast for the eye!
Highlights from national and international collections
Half of the works on show will be from the collection of The Phoebus Collection in Antwerp. It would not have been possible to mount this exhibition without its help. The other half will be coming from the collection of Museum Catharijneconvent supplemented by leading institutions like the Mauritshuis, the Rijksmuseum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Snijders&Rockoxhuis. To accompany the show we will be issuing the lavishly illustrated catalogue Van Antwerpen naar Amsterdam. Schilderkunst uit de zestiende en zeventiende eeuw, published by Hannibal Books and edited by Dr Micha Leeflang, one of our curators.
Catharijneconvent - A building with a history
Museum Catharijneconvent occupies a characteristic building in the old city centre of Utrecht. The building has a long history going back to the fourteenth century. Originally, it was the site of a shelter for the homeless. In the fifteenth century the Carmelites acquired the land and built a convent. Later, the knights of St John turned it into a hospital, which it remained until the beginning of the nineteenth century. Subsequently it served various other functions until becoming a museum in 1979.
Opening hours & admission
- Tuesday - Friday 10am - 5pm
- Saturday, Sunday and holidays 11am - 5pm
- Closed Mondays, 1 January and 27 April
- ICOM, Museumkaart: Free*
- Children under 17: Free
- Students: € 7
- 65+: € 13.50*
- Adults: € 15*
*A surcharge may apply to temporary exhibitions.
Our temporary exhibitions are fully accessible for English-speaking visitors. For the permanent collection, a free visitor's guide is available in English, French, German and Spanish.
Groups, tour operators & facilities
Groups & tour operators
Various options are available for a visit with a group or tour operator. We will be happy to tell you more; please contact our group coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a museum shop, museum café and outdoor seating area, meeting rooms and a library on site.
Address, directions & accessibility
Lange Nieuwstraat 38
3512 PH Utrecht
P.O. box 8518
3503 RM Utrecht
Telephone: + 31 (0)30 231 38 35
- Only a 15-minute walk from Utrecht Central station
- Only a 5-minute walk from the tourist office
- Bus line 2 stops at the door
Accessible for wheelchairs. Not accessible for larger motorised scooters. Guide dogs and assistance dogs are allowed.
You can find more information about accessibility on this website: https://www.goldencrossdata.com/en/adress/museum-catharijne-convent