After another heavy morning’s walking around Utrecht, we went to the Museum Speelklok.
This was a real highlight – a huge collection of self-playing mechanical musical instruments (including fairground organs, pianolas, music boxes, novelty items) and a special exhibition of music machines from the roaring twenties.
The guides were enthusiastic and multilingual, making the free guided tours a real show in themselves.
They played the instruments, many with Christmas music and told stories about them.
The machines were spectacular and many were huge – they must have taken up so much room in a hall or cafe, or in some cases people’s houses.
The museum is in a fully restored old church, the Buurkerk, and houses more than 1,100 instruments dating from as early as the 15th century.
Here are some of them (you can click on the image to see it larger)
- you'll have to scroll all the way down for the first 'Where's Wally' shot of this holiday:
|One of the 'smaller' fairground organs - and oh so loud!|
|Our guide shows the size of one of the smaller cafe machines|
(she was about my height!)
|I put this in twice to show it all lit up - the kids were dancing|
|a musical clock |
with moving racehorses in the bottom panel
|A room full of giant fairground machines!|
|All the glass panels were engraved - so elaborate|
|This amazing one has a piano and three violins |
- some info in the photo below
|Singing birds - with some info in the photo below|
|Here's the first 'where's wally' shot of this trip|
- can you see him in his new white shoes?