It was one of the most special construction assignments of that time. As a 21-year-old Philip Barnaart had his reception house on the Haarlem canal built by Abraham van der Hart. It resulted in an almost un-Dutch city palace with the best-preserved Empire interior in the Netherlands.
Spectacular City Palace
No fewer than three buildings had to make way for this house of more than 22 meters wide (and deep) with four floors. The executive architect was Abraham van der Hart, city architect of Amsterdam. He was not only an architect, but also an artistic director. All designs, from capitals on the facade to the doorknobs inside, have his signature.
Many craftsmen have worked on the construction and interior finishing and it is special that we also know who these are through the construction invoices. The best craftsmen from Haarlem and Amsterdam were attracted to make the house the spectacular city palace it was and still is today.
The gold and purple pops at you
The eye-catcher of the house is the 'Golden Salon'. The decoration of this room is extremely rich. The finish is original and it is also very well preserved. The gold and purple of the interior pops at you. The purple-covered furniture was already there in Barnaart's time.
The Golden Salon is a real showpiece, intended to impress guests. The salon was the most expensive room during construction. Gilding alone cost 19,000 guilders at the time (1805). The salon and the house, like Napoleon Bonaparte's palaces, were furnished according to the latest French Empire style fashion.
With attention and love
The furniture in the Golden Salon was unique in its time. The woodwork was completely gilded, which gave them an imperial allure, unprecedented in the Netherlands.
Afterwards, this furniture was imitated in the Royal Palace on Dam Square. The furniture in the Golden Salon was carefully restored and reupholstered in 2019.
A home visit with the Barnaart family
Philip Barnaart received distinguished guests in his city palace, such as the first king of the Netherlands, Lodewijk Napoleon, and the Prince of Orange (later King Willem II). Now it's your turn, are you coming to visit? Have a drink at the dinner table, play card game in the Golden Salon, and experience how the Barnaart family lived and lived. And do you want to know what it was like to work there as a staff...?
During the receptions it must have been very busy in the kitchen. The cook was sweating at the stove and the maids came and went with plates and dishes.... There is an extensive report of a 'souper' - a festive dinner late in the evening - in Huis Barnaart in 1807, written by Jeanette Van Deelen. She names the richly decorated rooms and the no fewer than 21 different dishes that were served to the guests. Do you walk into the basement to check the supplies? Then take a lantern with you, it is low and dark.
Exceptional Empire style interior
Although the house is a real total concept, each room has its own face: they are different in color and, for example, different materials have been used. For example, the antechamber has painted decorations on canvas, the salon is gilded and the walls of the dining room are fitted with imitation marble. The family rooms are much more sober than the rooms used for receiving guests and the staff rooms are even more sober.
The blue room with the slatted wallpaper is the daily dining room of the Barnaart family. Barnaart had 12 children. Would they have sat properly at the table here? Thanks to the letters Barnaart sent home to his second wife Maria, we know that he missed his family when he was far from home. What kind of father and husband would he have been? You can hear it all in the audio tour.
Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00
During opening hours, please call 06-82067373, for questions about the museum house.
Visitors aged 12 – 18 years €5
Students € 5
Visitors aged under 12 free
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House Barnaart - Nieuwe Gracht 7 - 2011 NB Haarlem
This museum house works with time-slots. Please reserve a time slot
Museum house Barnaart is not accessible for visitors in a wheelchair