The Speeltoren (‘playing tower’) is the playfull museum full of stories. The tower is the iconic symbol of Monnickendam, housing the world’s oldest and most uniquely tuned carillon. Originally serving as the town hall tower, it has been ingeniously transformed into a museum. The tower’s foundation dates back to the 14th century, with the distinctive wooden crown added in 1591.
This hidden gem invites visitors to explore the vibrant history of Monnickendam and the Waterland region through interactive exhibits and captivating artifacts. At the heart of the museum is the carillon tower, a centerpiece that adds a melodic touch to your journey. The Speeltoren museum seamlessly blends education and entertainment, offering a delightful experience for all.
What to Expect?
- Explore the world’s oldest and most out-of-tune playable carillon. And play a carillon by yourself!
- Uncover Waterland’s roots, from monasteries to shipbuilding
- Discover how Waterland subsided by 5 meters!
- Kids can enjoy the Junior museum attic
- Delve into art, films, and fun facts about Monnickendam and the region
What to see at Speeltoren museum?
There are 5 areas in the Speeltoren museum.
4th floor – Carrillon
Step into the magical carillon room at the Speeltoren museum and discover the charm of the oldest hand-played carillon, famous for its unique, slightly ‘off-key’ tunes. Watch a fascinating tower film revealing the ancient mechanics of the Speeltoren and explore how the clock and carillon work. Sit behind a recreated carillon with guidance from a screen, where a beiaardier teaches you how to play the world’s oldest carillon (fun part!). In this room you also learn about the craftsmanship of the many carillon bells, understand different clock mechanisms, and discover the Faam’s trumpet sound.
3th floor – Kids
Kids can have a blast here! Explore the Discovery House, solve historical memory games, and get creative with drawing, jars, and tiles. Young detectives, get ready for an exciting museum scavenger hunt. Dig up ancient treasures from Waterland and put them together like a puzzle, just like little archaeologists. For the youngest explorers, there is a fun activity booklet with tasks, questions, puzzles, and space for drawing.
2nd floor – History
Step into the History Room at the Speeltoren museum to relive ancient times. From the early monks shaping the land to glimpses of Waterlanders’ lifestyle through soil discoveries and Galilea church books. Discover the maritime history, featuring shipbuilding and artifacts like Hakvoort’s ultramodern yacht model.Top of Form
1st floor – Art
Artists from the Waterland region and beyond bring forth a diverse world through changing exhibitions, capturing its surprising forms.
Ground floor – Water & Land
Embark on 2000-year journey through the history of de Waterland region. Discover how humans and nature shaped Waterland’s landscape, with interactive displays featuring animals and an old-school illustration of an idealized scene. You can also explore how people adapted, bringing cows to marshy areas and navigating challenges in transporting milk and cheese to Amsterdam markets. surroundings.
About museum the Speeltoren
Nestled in the heart of Monnickendam, the Speeltoren museum unfolds the captivating history of the town, intricately connected to the medieval Speeltoren erected in 1450. This 400 m² museum, founded in 2012, elegantly embraces the iconic tower, originally serving as the city hall and now housing the oldest hand-played carillon in the Netherlands.
The Speeltoren, thought to incorporate remnants of a 14th-century church, stands over thirty meters tall with seven floors, preserving its 16th-century charm. The world’s oldest hand-played carillon, dating back to the 17th century and comprising 15 bells, resonates with the historical tuning practices of the 16th century—a melodic testament to the enduring allure of Monnickendam’s past. The museum underwent renovation in 2012.
During the autumn and winter seasons, the Speeltoren museum welcomes visitors on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 to 17:00. Transitioning into the spring and summer seasons, the museum extends its opening hours to accommodate guests from 11:00 to 17:00, Tuesday through Sunday. Additionally, during school vacations in the North region, the museum remains accessible throughout the week, from Tuesday to Sunday, with the same operating hours of 11:00 to 17:00.
Ticket prices for museum the Speeltoren are as follow:
- Adults: €7,5
- Children 12 – 17 year: €3,5
- Children 4 – 11 year: €2,5
- Children 0 – 3 year: free
The Speeltoren museum features facilities such as an accessible toilet for individuals with disabilities, a lift for easy navigation between floors, and seating options in every room to ensure comfort for all. Additionally, the museum offers the convenience of providing wheelchairs or walkers upon request if arranged in advance of your visit.
By public transport
Discover the convenience of bus connections to Monnickendam with stops at key locations like Nieuwpoortslaan, Grote Kerk, and Bernhardbrug. A leisurely 10-minute stroll from these stops will lead you to the Speeltoren. If you are starting your journey from Amsterdam Central Station, board metro line 52 heading to Amsterdam Station Noord. seamlessly transfer to bus 111, 112, 314, 315, or 316 from there, ensuring a smooth continuation of your trip to Monnickendam. The total travel time from Amsterdam Central Station to the museum is approximately 30 minutes.
A car journey from the city center of Amsterdam to the Speeltoren Museum typically takes around 30 minutes. When departing from Amsterdam, take the Volendam exit (S116) from the A10 highway. Follow the road towards Volendam (N247) and then take the exit for Monnickendam/Marken. For those traveling from Edam and Volendam, follow the signs indicating Amsterdam (N247) and subsequently take the Monnickendam/Marken exit. These straightforward directions ensure a seamless journey to Monnickendam.
For parking, it is recommended to utilize the parking lot near the Grote Kerk, providing convenient access to the museum with just a 5-minute stroll. Alternative parking options are available in the city center, such as Kermergracht or Haringburgwal, though spaces are limited.
The address of museum the Speeltoren is:
1141 AM Monnickendam
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