Within a stone’s throw of Royal Coster Diamonds, is the Rijksmuseum. In the past few years enough has been said already about the Rijksmuseum. But one of the small and precious jewels of Amsterdam is the corridor under the Rijksmuseum. The corridor was originally built as a gateway to a planned residential area in Amsterdam. This area would be located south of the Rijksmuseum, but this plan was never implemented. When it became clear that the residential area would not be there, the passage has basically been forgotten about. It was a crossing that people were reluctant to use because of the grim atmosphere hanging there.
A couple of years ago, the Rijksmuseum has been rebuilt and reopened to the public. In that renovation, the corridor was also included. The main entrance of the National Museum is currently even located in that particular hallway. That is why the corridor was also renewed and since then the old allure came back, and more.
One of the beautiful things that happened because of the alteration is the presence of musicians who daily show their arts. Most of them are students from the conservatory and street musicians. You will hear a diversity of music, varying from classical violin and bass music to the Balkan music and the exotic Caribbean oil drum.
Normally, one would just walk along the corridor. However, there are some interesting points and ‘secrets’ that are worth mentioning and looking at.
1. Old Dutch proverbs
The most visible points of interest are proverbs, written in Old Dutch on the walls of the passage. All saying are related to art.
2. The smuggling route
Look at the south side of the hall. Just about the road in the passage, there’s a slot in the ceiling. This groove is connected to the Night Watch room. From there, paintings are transported. Right before World War II, the Night Watch and other important artworks were send trough this slot to disappear to a hiding place. Because of this groove, the paintings remained safe during the war and can still be seen in the Rijksmuseum today.
3. New corridor in old glory
The whole bottom of the passage is removed during the rebuilding. The entire base was replaced by a more robust and modern one. This was for the good, because the whole basement of the museum needed to be pumped dry and waterproofed.
With the reconstruction of the corridor, the stone walls are replaced by large glass fronts. These provide a good view over the entire museum. During the renovation, the walls and ceilings are completely restored in their former glory. That way, the history of the corridor is still present.
Royal Coster has a special connection to the Rijksmuseum. The Museum is a lovely neighbor, which we have close ties with. In addition, the museum has been the scene for the presentation of the Royal Predicate His Majesty King Willem Alexander has given us.
The Rijksmuseum has also been the venue for a special unveiling of Royal Coster: “The Black Rembrandt”. In 2005 Rembrandt expert Gerry Schwartz unveiled this special diamond. It is a beautiful smooth black diamond of 42.27 carat (cut). Uncut, this black diamond weighed over 125 carat when it was found. It was almost impossible to grind the stone. However, thanks to the commitment and knowledge of some skilled and inspired grinders, they made it happen. The diamond cutter took three years and three days to cut the Black Rembrandt into a beautiful brilliant cut. The Black Rembrandt can be found in the Diamond Museum Amsterdam.
Want to learn more about diamonds while you are in Amsterdam near the Rijksmuseum? Book a free guided tour through our diamond factory.
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