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Exterior of the Frans Hals Museum, Location HAL.

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Two historical locations in Haarlem’s old city centre


You can visit the Frans Hals Museum at two historical locations in Haarlem’s old city centre at Groot Heiligland 62 and Grote Markt 16 (Location HAL).

Exterior of the Frans Hals Museum.


The museum at Groot Heiligland is set in a 17th-century alms house for old men. The building used to be a residence for elderly men. Here, you can find famous artworks by Frans Hals along with other pre-modern, modern and contemporary art. Go back in time in a place Frans Hals himself could well have visited.


Before the Old Men’s Alms House was turned into a museum, it was an orphanage. Starting in 1810, it offered a safe haven for orphaned children for a century. One of these children was painter and writer Jacobus van Looy (1855–1930).

City museum

In 1908, the complex was bought by the Haarlem municipality to create an exhibition space for the city’s art collection. Large parts of the Old Men’s Alms House were knocked down and rebuilt in the early 17th-century style. They were designed by Haarlem city architect Lucas Christiaan Dumont. The doors of the Frans Hals Museum opened to the public on 14 May 1913.


In the 1930s, a new hall was constructed behind the main building. In the 1950s, a repository was added. In 1981, the museum was expanded further to include a department for modern art, designed by Haarlem city architect Wiek Röling. This building now houses the installation ‘The Hals Phenomenon’, the museum café and the workshop areas.

Location HAL

At HAL, you’ll find modern and contemporary art exhibitions organised by the Frans Hals Museum. HAL consists of three separate buildings, each constructed in a different century: the Meat Hall, the Fish House and the Verwey Hall.

Meat hall

The Meat Hall, a museum since 1951, has exhibited the works of many famous artists from Rembrandt to Damien Hirst. The building was constructed in the 17th century as a municipal market hall for butchers. The hall was designed by the famous Flemish architect Lieven de Key. Much like Frans Hals’ family, Lieven de Key fled to Haarlem to escape Spanish rule.

Fish house

This small house was built ca. 1600. From 1766, it was the home of the master of the local fish market. Later still, the building housed a coffeehouse, where fishwives from Zandvoort gathered to rest. The house was entirely rebuilt in 1905. You can find it between the two museum halls. During large-scale renovations in the early 1990s, the house was incorporated into the De Hallen museum complex, which is now known as HAL.

Verwey hall

Verwey Hall was built in 1879 or 1880 at the behest of the Trou moet Blycken gentlemen’s club. The original interior of the building no longer exists. It used to have parquet flooring that was cleaned and polished for six hours every day. The building later housed a bank before it eventually became an exhibition space. After the most recent renovations, in the 1990s, the building was renamed after the Haarlem painter Kees Verwey (1900–1995). Verwey loaned his artwork to the Frans Hals Museum and helped finance the renovations through his own foundation.


Groot Heiligland 62, Haarlem

Open Tuesday – Sunday
11 AM – 5 PM


Grote Markt 16, Haarlem

Temporary modern and contemporary art exhibition

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