The first purpose-built orphanage in the Netherlands (1560) is a unique monument in the historic centre of Culemborg. The girls’ wing is being used as a museum. As you walk across the centuries-old floors and past the cots you feel you are going back in time. The museum uses imagery, sound and authentic objects to describe the four centuries long history of being Elisabeth Weeshuis. The museum also focuses on the orphans of today.
A visit to the Elisabeth Weeshuis Museum is a unique experience for children and adults alike. Visitors can experience how orphans used to live and play and they can also listen to the memories of the orphans who were raised here.
The town’s history comes to life in the spinning room. This is also where you can view a portrait of the woman who founded the orphanage, namely Elisabeth, Lady of Culemborg. The amount of money which she bequeathed was so vast that this orphanage was not only the first to be purpose-built in the Netherlands, but also the largest and most expensive.
Photography: Huub van Beurde