History, Hookers & Hashish
we have an awesome tour for you
Was it too niche, was it the high rent or perhaps was it just located in the wrong neighborhood of Amsterdam…
This museum opened its doors in the winter of 2014. We think it was really great to have a weird, creepy and funny museum here in the Red Light District. The last couple of years new stores opened in the Red Light District. Some are really cool, others not so much! The area offers much more than just brothels and (cannabis) coffeeshops! And this is something we’d like to show you during our tours. Our local guides know all these cool, secrets places in Amsterdam.
Maria’s Dolls Museum in Amsterdam was a very unique and hidden place in the Red Light District. They had a collection of 5000 different dolls. That’s right, 5000… We’ve never seen something like this before!
Maria’s Dolls Museum had several levels and all could be visited. On every level you could find thousands of dolls. They all worn a different outfit and every doll had its own story.
The owner, Jim Zielinski, bought all these dolls from an old lady who owned this collection. Jim is an huge fan of weird things like this, so recently he decided to buy all these dolls and he opened Maria’s Dolls Museum in Amsterdam. Right in the heart of the Red Light District.
Maria’s Dolls Museum was surrounded by bars, brothels, lunch rooms and sex shops. What many don’t realize is that the Red Light District is a residential area as well. There are around approx. 9.000 people who live here. So, there are also people who live just next to this new museum. This is one of the reasons why we love the Red Light District so much. Here, you find people living next to brothels, churches, coffeeshops, museums, bars, etc. And it goes along quite well. You won’t find something like this elsewhere in the world!
So yeah, we thought it was great to have a doll museum in Amsterdam. Most likely this was the only one in town…We must say though, it was funny and weird at the same time to see 10.000 eyes staring at you. Maria’s Dolls Museum was definitely something unique. And we love unique things!
Unfortunately, there was not that much interest in this doll museum. Most likely, the Red Light District is not the right area for a (normal) doll museum like this. Also, the rent was too high (approx. 1500 euro p/m) making it even more difficult to run a profitable museum here.
We think there used to be a window brothel at this location. Since the 2007, the local government likes to have a different kind of Red Light District. Therefore, many brothels have been closed down. Like this one.. So former brothels are being changed into ice cream shops, art galleries, coffee houses, fashion stores, museums and whatnot. It seems like many entrepreneurs – who own a new company in a former window brothel – are struggling to have a successful business that isn’t related to sex or drugs.
Meanwhile Maria’s Dolls Museum is closed and a new coffee house opened its doors at this location. We curious to know how long that one will survive as there are so many coffee houses in the Red Light District.