Museum in transition
Westfries Museum gives the past a future
Since 1881, the Westfries Museum has been housed in the former Statencollege: a national monument dating from 1632 in the heart of the historic port city of Hoorn. The monumental premises give the museum its special character. Together, the collection and the building tell the story of the cultural history of Hoorn and the region of West Friesland, focusing on the most exciting period of that history, namely the 17th century. Just like in our temporary exhibitions, we like to let the present interact with the past.
Museum closed for restoration, renovation and renewal
The museum is closed for a long period of time due to an extensive restoration, more sustainable design and renewal of the monumental buildings. After that, everyone will be welcome in the renovated museum, including visitors with reduced mobility. Then, a new basement will provide space for temporary exhibitions, among other things, a freely accessible area with food and beverage facilities will be created and you can get inspired by a new museum concept.
We will maintain the monumental power of the building in the renewed museum. We will also continue to tell the story of the cultural history of Hoorn and West Friesland, focusing on the 17th century. But we will then be telling that story from different perspectives from more than 20 story rooms, each with its own theme and atmosphere. This way, we will be in line with the questions society is asking about the past today.
The Westfries Museum is located in one of Hoorn’s most beautiful monuments, right on the central city square Roode Steen: the Statencollege from 1632. As a visitor, you step straight into the 17th century. The Statencollege was built in 1632 for the Gecommitteerde Raden of West-Friesland and the Noorderkwartier. Seven towns were represented in this governing body. Their coats of arms can be seen on the stepped facade and in the conference room: today’s civic guards’ hall. The Statencollege was built on the site of one of Hoorn’s first stone houses, the Proostenhuis. The late-medieval vaulted cellar is one of the few remnants of this building.
Since 1881, the Westfries Museum has been housed in this building. In 1994, the museum was extended with an adjacent municipal monument that originally consisted of two houses. These were given a single facade in classicist style, designed by architect Leendert Viervant. The monumental gate closing off the courtyard dates from 1729. There is a courtyard garden behind the museum, where gable stones and other ornaments from Hoorn monuments can be seen.
Currently, the building is closed for major restoration, renovation and renewal. In mid-2025, the Westfries Museum will reopen the monumental complex in which the premises have been extended to include the adjacent monument Roode Steen 15. This will then form part of the new museum’s publicly accessible area with food and beverage facilities.
An overview of our employees and external experts can be found on the contact page.
Volunteers are workers who are indispensable for the Westfries Museum. We are proud of the more than 60 employees who enthusiastically volunteer as our hosts/hostesses and garden volunteers. During the museum’s closure, they remain active at our temporary museum location in the Statenpoort on Nieuwstraat and, of course, at the Educational Workroom on the first floor of the Boterhal on Kerkplein.