The Tot Zover funeral museum in Amsterdam was established in 2007 and is located in a horizontal building at the 100-year-old “De Nieuwe Ooster” cemetery. The subjects that the museum covers include the Dutch funeral rituals, human emotions that are connected with the inevitability of death, human memory of the dead, etc. Your private Amsterdam tour guide will have many stories about the museum to share with you.
The name of the Tot Zover funeral museum, Tot Zover, means “For so long” or “For so far” and it reflects upon the approach taken by the all the authors of the exhibits in the museum. The architecture of the museum is sharp and modern with only four exhibition rooms connected via a long hall. Each of the exhibition rooms is dedicated to various aspects of funeral and death.
The first hall of the museum is all about the respect for the dead throughout the human history. The second hall features seven coffins that illustrate the funeral traditions of various religions like Catholic, Protestants, Muslim, Jewish, Chinese, Hindu from the Dutch colony of Suriname, Creole from Suriname, and many individual funerary ideas. The themes of exhibits in the last two rooms are the various funerary rituals in other parts of the globe and human approach to the inevitability of death.
Netherlands, for a long time, had laws prohibiting the cremation of dead bodies and a model of the first crematorium in Netherlands together with miniature models of funeral cars completes the exhibition.
The Feel of the Museum
The museum is clean and simple, and makes use of multimedia to explain things of eternal nature. If you are interested in the present life of Dutch people, their thoughts, and their relation to various religious traditions, you should not miss the museum that explains the Dutch approach to death.
The “De Nieuwe Ooster” municipal cemetery and the park surrounding it are attractions on their own. You will also be able to spot a modern café named “Roosenburgh” at the entrance of the museum.
The Tot Zover museum will be open from Tuesdays to Sundays and the timing is from 11:00 am to 05:00 pm. Besides all Mondays, the museum will remain closed on January 1, April 30, May 5, and December 25. In addition, the museum will be open until 04:00 pm on December 26 and 27.