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Across the Cafe Table #5: What’s Your Favorite Museum?

When Margo at The Travel Belles asked us to share about our favorite museum for this month’s Across the Cafe Table, I was stymied! I love museums, from the quirky to the sublime, but I wracked my brain to think of my absolute favorite.

I thought of the Museum of Bread Culture in Ulm, Germany – a place that sounded as dull as can be at first glance, but turned out to be a 5-story trip through history chock full of interesting displays and fascinating tidbits of how bread was used to win wars, control entire populations, and bring life to those on the brink of death.

I considered the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, a fantastic place filled with the most beautiful vistas of animals in their natural habitats, and the Museum Willet-Holthuysen in Amsterdam. How I love this wonderful old canal house with its charming gardens and cozy old kitchen.

But at last I settled on the Dutch Resistance Museum in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam has a wealth of museums, including the famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, but this one is my favorite.

It is the sort of place you want to linger in, reading story after story of the heroic and selfless actions of Dutch civilians during the Nazi Occupation of World War II.

I read incredulously of the ingenuity of the Resistance workers as they devised brilliant ways of smuggling ration cards, food, and forged papers to those in need. I cried as I read the heart-rending stories of those who suffered terribly or lost their lives in their efforts to rescue Jews and others hunted by the Nazis.

The museum has an extensive and fascinating collection of items from WWII, including original clothing, documents, and furniture that give the stories even greater impact. I loved reading snippets from old letters and diaries and learning about the man who cooked the books of the Dutch government in order to finance the Resistance movement right under the noses of the Gestapo. I was transfixed by hundreds of photos and hearing the voices of survivors telling their stories.

Mostly I was inspired and challenged to look at my time in history and find ways to protect and care for those in need.

For more information on the Dutch Resistance Museum click here.

Note: call ahead for exact ticket cost since changes are not always reflected on website.

For more information about beloved museums around the world, click here.

What is your favorite museum?

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Stevie - I don’t know the Dutch Resistance Museum though it sounds excellent. I used to think my favorite museum was the Metropolitan in New York but I think that I prefer the Vatican Museum and the National Gallery in London.  For things other than European painting, San Francisco has a really interesting Asian Art Museum and for WW2 era things, the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC is as disturbing and heartrending as it is profound. 

Fvknapp - A museum becomes my favorite when it allows me to discover and takes me on a journey.


Krista - Oh, I’ve wanted to visit the Musée d’Orsay for a long time, Lisa. 🙂 I hope I get to visit it soon. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad you like the pictures, Faith. 🙂 I love that adorable man so pleased with his bread. 🙂

Krista - And I’ve never been to that one, Jessica! I hope we both get to go back soon and visit all these lovely places. 🙂

Krista - That would be SO fun, Katy! You’re the best museum explorer 🙂

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour - The Bread museum sounds like it would be my all time favorite!  I love the Musée d’Orsay in Paris!

Faith - All the museums you mentioned sound wonderful and I would love to visit them all!  The photos you shared are really gorgeous too — I love the cozy feeling in the first one and the peaceful serenity in the second!

Jessica Orquina - I had the opportunity to go to Amsterdam for work once several years ago. I remember I had time for one museum and dinner – so I went to the Van Gogh Museum. I hope to be able to go back some day and visit more places!

Katy Stewart - The Resistance Museum and the Bread Museum both sound fascinating  – I’d love to visit both  with you 🙂

Krista - I think you would love it, Andi. So many amazing stories and tributes. 🙂

Krista - Oh, that’s so great, Lidy! You’re the first person I’ve met who has actually been to it. 🙂

Krista - My absolute pleasure, Margo! I’m so glad I had time enough to play this time around. 🙂

Krista - Aren’t natural history museums wonderful, Vanessa? 🙂 My friend Katy here in England also loves the one in the UK. I hope to check it out one day. 🙂

Andi Perullo - Will have to check it out next time I’m there! 🙂

FrenchGardenHouse - I love the Resistance Museum.  Being Dutch, it’s truly one of my favorites.  What a great selection of your favorites, and thanks so much for stopping by my blog, too. xo Lidy

The Travel Belles - this museum wasn’t there I don’t think last time I spent a lot of time in Amsterdam – but the Anne Frank museum was, and was a moving experience where I first learned in a way that felt personal about the resistance movement in Holland. Next time I go back, I am there! Also, I’ve got to find out about this bread museum business.. what a riot 🙂 Thanks for playing in the middle of your big move to Australia! I’m honored!

Vanessa@Luxuria - I would so love to visit the Bread museum (being a huge bread lover).
I would have to say mine is the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and the Natural History in the UK xx

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