Welcome to Orientalis
Museumpark Orientalis makes the colourful world of Judaism, Christianity and Islam come to life. On this web page you can find an overview of what to expect in our museum. You can find more information about the history and background of the museum in the menu to the right.
The museum offers visitors a range of lively and authentic activities. You can find these under 'What's on' and 'Coming up'. Visitors can also enjoy our special foods and drinks in the Roman Inn.
Being the oldest open air museum in The Netherlands, Museumpark Orientalis has been a famous and frequently visited museum for generations in the region Arnhem-Nijmegen.
Desert with Bedouin camp
In our desert the story of the three monotheistic religions begins. Here Abraham lived as a nomad thousands of years ago, the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. With our Bedouin camp we depict this way of life. Bedouins are nomadic Arabians who travel through the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East with few possessions and some cattle in the form of goats and camels.
Our village Beth Juda offers visitors a peek into the world of Judaism. Various Jewish articles of everyday and religious use are displayed in the houses of the village. There is also a synagogue, built in 1935 based on archeological research done by one of the founders of the museum, the artist Piet Gerrits. In the village’s exposition building there is currently an exhibition about Piet Gerrits.
Just outside of Beth Juda lies the hidden garden. This garden reflects a passage in the Bible’s Deuteronomium, in which seven agricultural products are listed as being important products for the Israelites: barley, wheat, grape, fig, pomegranates, olive (oil) and honey (Deut. 8:8). In the garden visitors can also find six rocks from different parts of Israel, laid down in a way that symbolizes the Star of David.
On the way to the Caravanserai lies the ‘birth cave’: a cave that was often used as a stable and is here used to depict the birth of Jesus. A little further down the road is the carpenter’s house, built to reflect the home of Joseph and Mary.
Our Caravanserai was also built originally as part of the nativity story of Jesus. At a similar inn Joseph and Mary may have knocked on the door shortly before Jesus was born. In the Caravanserai visitors can see how people who traveled in camel trains spent their nights. Caravanserais were located at a day’s journey from each other along every caravan route. Trade caravans with valuable items on expensive camels were very vulnerable at night. A caravanserai was a relatively safe place where every traveler could spend the night for free in the galleries of the courtyard. The innkeeper would rent a few rooms to travelers who wanted some more privacy.
Originally this village was built as a reference to the fishing village Kafernaum in the first century CE. This was the village, situated at the lake of Galilee, where Jesus obtained his first followers. This Arabic village is currently called Omani and reflects Islam. It is based on a coastal town in Oman and therefore exhibits various objects from Oman. In the village visitors can find a mosque, a little suq (marketplace) and in the other houses are presentations about Islam, Oman and Arabic trades and handicrafts.
Visitors can find all kinds of attractions in our Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a breeding place of culture and religion under Roman rule and this variety is represented in the Roman city street that runs through the city: different kinds of shops, workshops and houses of various cultures (Greek, Roman, and Egyptian) can be visited. There is also a house dedicated to the cult of Mithras, with an early Christian house church tucked away on the second floor. At the end of the street stands an Egyptian gate and behind that is a Sanhedrin, a Jewish council of judges. In our Roman city street are also the museum shop Mazzeltov and the Roman Inn, run by an actual innkeeper. Finally visitors of Jerusalem can find the Palace of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect of the province of Judea during the time of Jesus. The palace is situated at a beautiful city square, giving a great impression of the place where all kinds of public events took place.
In our indoor museum we exhibit various expositions throughout the season that deal with the themes of the museum. At the moment these are the expositions ‘Eternal Stories’, ‘When God still wrote’, ‘The Cross in the hands of people’ and ‘Imago Christi’.