A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Giethoorn by itself is one of the most fairytale towns that I have seen in Europe, this is a town with no roads, where everything is connected by small channels. Right in the center of the picturesque Giethoorn is the oldest museum in this village. De Oude Aarde in Giethoorn is quite simply one of the most unique and enchanting museums that I come across in Holland.
The museum De Oude Aarde , which translates to ‘The Old Earth’ has been opened since the year 1969, and it has been dedicated to being home to Netherlands most beautiful collections of minerals and fossils. Spending some time in this wonderful museum is truly worth it and it will take you on a voyage of discovery through strange crystals in the fascinating world of gemstones and fossils from the depths of the earth. You will see stones of peculiar shapes and brilliant colors which you could not dream have existed.
The entrance to this museum has been constructed in such a way so as to resemble an old mine entrance. It’s built in such as way so that it is dark inside the museum, there are spotlights which points towards mineral specimen. The museum is lit in this special way, so it just seems like you will discover beautifully colored minerals and crystals with the light. You also have to keep in mind that it can be a bit tough to get quality photos because of the darkness.
Along the walls one can also see the bigger specimen which is displayed on shelves. The smaller pieces are on display in showcases. Every piece over here is labeled with name and country. Besides minerals, there are some Fossils and some Agates on display and there are a few pieces of petrified wood. Some of the particularly noteworthy items over here are the Coelacanth, egg of the mammoth ostrich, and a large petrified tree trunk. To make matters even better the museum also has a small waterfall which is complete with a small Cayman and Tortoise.
The exit of the small museum is through the shop. The shop is an adventure in itself. The minerals and fossils are found in their natural form, but also made into jewelry, gemstone cut up to engraved detail or edited in many different forms.
Once you are done with the museum you always have the option of stepping into the wonderful town of Giethoorn, renting a whisper boat and then going on a laid back voyage through the endless maze of canals. Overall the museum and town are really worth a visit!