Photo by © ARTIS, Maarten van der Wal. Click on picture for the museum’s website

Plantage Kerklaan 38-40
1018 CZ Amsterdam

Tel. 06 53 73 86 88

The Groote Museum, or the Main Building, is the first and most impressive ARTIS building. It is also located on the oldest ARTIS site: the outdoor Middenhof. Barely half a hectare in size, it was purchased in 1838 by the founders Westerman, Werlemann and Wijsmuller (“the three W’s”).

After being closed to the public for 75 years, the Groote Museum on Artisplein is open again with a new purpose. The Groote Museum is about the connection between humans and all life on earth, about the connection between humans, animals, plants, microbes and the earth itself. The aim of the interactive museum is to allow visitors to look at their environment and the world with different eyes.

The founders of ARTIS, together with a group of passionate members of the Society, ensured that the building of the Groote Museum was constructed between 1850 and 1855. After its founding in 1838, the Natura Artis Magistra Society aimed to create a museum next to the zoo, where stuffed animals, skeletons, insects, fossils, rocks and ethnographic items could be displayed. The Groote Museum, designed by J. van Maurik, was a meeting place for members of the Royal Zoological Society Natura Artis Magistra and the first 19th century museum building with an exhibition function in the Netherlands. This gave it a major social and cultural role in Amsterdam in the 19th and first half of the 20th century. In 1947, the Groote Museum had to close its doors to the public due to financial difficulties.