Military History of Holland
Some say war is a necessary evil. There are many sides to the history of war. The Dutch National Military Museum (NMM) presents mainly a technical collection of items that illustrate warfare through the ages. Fighter planes, artillery, missiles, and guns offer a spectacular insight into technical warfare in recent army history. Dogs, horses, and bicycles also played their role in the First World War.
Given recent developments in Ukraine, a military museum appears to be more topical than ever. The museum is responding appropriately and in solidarity to the current development.
At the end of the 19the, century fortifications and fortified Dutch cities were crucial in the Dutch defense system. This system is known as the “Hollandse Waterlinie”. By letting the land between fortifications flow underwater many an enemy was stopped before the 19th century. In one of the playgrounds around the museum, children can play in a model of this system. Today it is too cold to play with water though. Right now on the 8th of February 2015 lots of children play within and around the army museum between planes, within tanks, and on top of heavy artillery.
Take a look around at The Military Museum. This museum was opened by King Willem-Alexander in December 2014, after which it was opened to the public
Will Dutch Army Museum Surprise US
The director of the National Military Museum is Paul van Vlijmen. He is the creative former director of the Dutch Railway Museum in Utrecht. In this museum, Van Vlijmen developed a new dynamic approach to the public. Under his wing, this museum really became something special. He arranged e.g. an exhibition related to Harry Potter and the Schweinstein Express; organized horror nights and indoor skating between the ancient trains. Now Paul van Vlijmen disposes not only of a martial museum but he could dispose of an airport as well. This former airport is a unique spacious festival location of incredible dimensions. We dream about Paul bringing Country Joe McDonald to the museum domain in a Woodstock-like atmosphere to sing his anti-war songs about Vietnam. Knowing Paul as a heartwarming person we hope he succeeds to ban wars to past episodes to be remembered only as an almost forgotten memory of former generations.
Music at National Military Museum
Since the opening of the Military Museum, the Night of Military Music has been organized every March. The program of the Night of Military Music is organized thematically, in which military musicians seek out collaborations with guest artists from the Netherlands and abroad. In 2022 the theme was: Fighting for the arts.
Meeting 200 military musicians at National Military Museum
The army has a sound of its own. The time that anti-war songs roll over the museum’s dominion is yet to come. In the first edition of the Night of Military Music, there were 30 ensembles on 8 different stages with small concerts all over the museum’s domain. Since then, a variety of musicians, and artists have performed, including big bands, regimental fanfare, and Garde Grenadiers. Attention is paid to culture from our own country and culture from areas where Defense is or has been on a peace mission. Western sounds alternate with oriental and African sounds and there is also classical music to be heard. Every year there is an exciting and varied program.
2022 was an online Night of Military Music at the National Military Museum
On Saturday, March 18, 2023, there will be another Night of Military Music. Then hopefully again in a packed museum, and not online. Get in the mood with this year’s brand new live stream, and watch the night of the Military Music 2022 below.
How to get to National Military Museum | Traveling Information
Travel by train, bus, or bicycle: The museum is at 1 hour traveling by train and bus from Amsterdam. The NMM is at a distance of 15 km from the center of the city of Utrecht. By bicycle, it will take you about 1.5 hours to get there. You can rent a bicycle at the Central Railway Station. From the Central Railway Station in Utrecht, you can also take bus 52 to the museum. You get off the bus at the bus stop ” ‘t Zwaantje”. From there it is a 10-minute walk through the woods to the NMM.
Navigate by car or bicycle to the Military Museum in Soest. I advise pedestrians and cyclists to use Google Maps or a different navigation App to find their way to the Museum.
Address: Military Museum, Verlengde Paltzerweg 1, 3768 XM Soest
TIP FOR THE BEST PLACE TO STAY NEAR THE MILITARY MUSEUM
HOTEL KONTAKT DER KONTINENTEN
The HOTEL Kontakt der Kontinenten is a conference hotel in a former mission house and monastery and guarantees a peaceful stay. The hotel is located in the National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug where you can make great walks and cycling tours. The hotel is about 5 km from the military museum. The city of Amersfoort is 15 km away and the city of Utrecht is 20 km. Behind the hotel Kontakt der Kontinenten is the Spa Soesterberg located.
➔ Book here Hotel Kontakt der Kontinenten