A new experience with spectacular visuals takes you along in the suprising world of Customs, then and now. Experience the development of more than four centuries of Customs.
Relive bygone eras
Learn about the taxes of bygone eras and find out what taxes people had to pay: from medieval tolls and, for example, duties on salt and bread to the 18th century tax on folding fans and the pre-war tax on two-wheeled vehicles – with a bicycle tax plate as proof of payment. And the silver tax that was collected by the Assay Office and remained in effect until 1953.
Watch a play
Taxes are closely linked to the history of the Netherlands. Visit the Tenth Penny Theatre and discover what role taxes played in the Eighty Years’ War. A performance featuring William of Orange, the Sea Beggars and the Duke of Alva.
The museum reveals a world in which there is a great deal of smuggling going on. In the past, smuggling was about butter and tobacco but today’s smugglers go much further. The strangest contraband and smuggling stories bring the work of Customs to life.
Measure and weigh
Find out how goods that were subject to duty were measured and weighed, and how the duty was calculated. For example, customs officers used a special dipstick to measure the level of wine in barrels in order to determine the amount of duty to be paid.
Play and learn
Throughout the museum, there are arts & crafts tables, games and other interactive presentations. For example, in the room with the (Un)regulated Europe display: at the Europe table, you can get an impression of what the Netherlands would be like if there were no European Union. Play the game and discover the role of Europe and its importance. Allow treaties, free trade and the euro to disappear, expand borders and see the effects.
Find out where the money goes
Under the multimedia expenditure ceiling you can find out how your taxes are spent. The timeline illustrates expenditures across the centuries. And, every year after the state opening of parliament, you can find the latest Budget figures in the museum.