No, you didn’t read that wrong. Amsterdam has its very own Hermitage. Displaying small exhibitions since 2004, the museum has been functioning in its current full form since 2009. The museum has an agreement with the Russian government to produce exhibitions together with the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
The museum itself is worth visiting for the exhibitions, but also for the interesting building. With a facade that extends 102-metres along the River Amstel — a design that is simple and symmetrical — the building, the Amstelhof, was a 17th-century almshouse for the elderly.
Inside the complex there are two permanent exhibition rooms in the Amstel Wing, a restaurant, large auditorium, resource centre, garden, and a number of preserved rooms such as the old kitchen that you can visit. The entrance is on the Amstel side (number 51) where you will enter via the Ossenpoort, the former tradesman’s entrance. Audio tours are available in the entrance hall.
But why is there a Hermitage museum in Amsterdam? The two cities are more connected than you might first imagine. As Amsterdam.info explains, “Saint Petersburg was built with the help of the Dutch, since the area chosen by tsar Peter for its foundation, was muddy and full of swamps.”