On Saturday 14 September the Waag is open during Open Monumentendag 2019 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A unique opportunity to visit the Theatrum Anatomicum in the building.
Heritage Day (Open Monumentendag)
Every year in the second weekend of September, thousands of beautiful monuments throughout the Netherlands are free for everyone. It is the chance to visit a place where you normally do not come as quickly and to participate in the many activities that are organised.
Heritage Day 2019 takes place on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September (only the restaurant is open on Sunday as usual, but not the rest of the building). The national theme for 2019 is Places of pleasure.
Anatomical theater: for both learning and entertainment
The anatomical theater (Theatrum Anatomicum) in the Waag was built in 1691 as a place for dissections of the surgeon's guild. The initiator was the anatomist, zoologist and botanist Frederik Ruysch, whose family crest is prominently displayed in the center of the wooden vault.
The anatomical lessons based on the corpses of executed criminals were not only attended by surgeons in training, but also by paying curious. For outsiders, the entrance to a public dissection was four pennies at a time. Once the knife was placed in the corpse, the interest in the anatomy lessons soon cooled. During the period that the dissections took place, the number of visitors per day decreased drastically.
The Theatrum Anatomicum today
The Theatrum Anatomicum is now used as a space for the public programme of Waag, for unraveling the role of technology in our society. From time to time, exhibitions are organised with the work of artists working with Waag. In addition, the space is also rented out for, for example, lectures, presentations or small conferences.
The building is open all the time, but only accessible to a limited number of visitors at a time. Experience shows that some waiting time may arise.