Huis van Gijn is my favourite museum. It is the house of the 19th century banker and collector Simon van Gijn who lived there with his wife and servants. In his will he bequeathed the house, all its belongings and his extensive collection of prints, maps, books, glass and silver to the city of Dordrecht stipulating that the house should be kept just as it is and that it should be open to the general public.
The municipality did exactly that, so now this ‘Huis’ has become an island of the 19th century and still breathes the atmosphere of the life of a well-to-do, cultured family. As a Friend I come here often to see one of the special exhibitions or just to drink in the peace and quiet of this jewel.
The house gives the impression that the family only went for a short walk and could come back every minute. So when you step into the dining room, you would not be surprised to hear the announcement of the butler saying: ‘Dinner is served!‘.
Below two pictures of the entrance of the dining room seen from the ‘red salon’ where the lady of the house used to receive her guests.