Schaakstukkenmuseum (The Chessmen Museum) – Rotterdam, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura
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Schaakstukkenmuseum (The Chessmen Museum)

This small museum located under the famous cube houses, is home to some 30,000 chess pieces. 

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Hidden below the Rotterdam cube houses is the cute-as-a-button Schaakstukkenmuseum, or Chessmen Museum. With hundreds of complete, unique chess sets on display, this tiny museum has something for everyone—even the chess averse.

Schaakstukkenmuseum opened in 2006. Many of the pieces on display inside come from the private collection of the museum’s founder, Ridder Dijkshoorn. The collection is changing all the time as new pieces go up for display and temporary exhibits rotate through the space. In a recent count, the museum held 928 unique sets, comprising nearly 30,000 individual pieces.

You could easily spend hours admiring the vast exhibit—there’s a lot to see in this small space. There are modern and antique sets, beautiful hand-carved and hand-painted pieces as well as ones modeled after cartoons and pop culture figures. Little ones can search for all the cartoon-inspired sets, while adults will appreciate the tremendous creativity and workmanship of every size, material, and style imaginable.

The museum also organizes an annual chess game design competition. Each visitor to Schaakstukkenmuseum may cast a vote for their favorite.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open daily, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from March to October and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. November to February. Tickets are € 1 for children under 13, € 2 for adults.