The Museum Gouda specializes in religious art from the 16th century, paintings from the 'Haagse School' of the 19th century and 20th-century Dutch pottery. Visitors will get to know the classical scholar Erasmus, who grew up in Gouda and played on the street where the museum is now located, and Dirck Crabeth, the master artist who created eight of the stained-glass windows in the nearby St John Church (leading to the church being placed on the UNESCO list of monuments).
The museum has a large collection of smoking pipes, tiles, antique apothecary jars and a solid selection of works from artists such as Toorop and Redon. If this sounds like an eclectic mix, it is! But hundreds of years ago, beer, cheese, pipes and pottery were cornerstones of Gouda's economy, and the museum does a wonderful job of showcasing how the town developed over the years.
The museum's variety of paintings, sculptures and ceramics is complemented by a reconstruction of a 16th-century pharmacy and a small children's museum. There's also a walled garden with a large terrace and a cafe, providing a nice oasis right in the middle of the city. Museum Gouda is located on Achter de Kerk (Behind the Church), a little street that connects it to the St John Church and its world-famous stained-glass windows.