The monumental building
Approaching the building from the street, it is not immediately obvious that Rijksmuseum Boerhaave is located in a magnificent monument with a rich history. Originally built as St Caecilia’s Convent in 1440, the building next sheltered the city’s plague victims and the mentally afflicted. The building then went on to become the first academic hospital in Northern Europe as St Caecilia’s Hospital. Some three hundred years ago, Herman Boerhaave instructed his students here at his patients’ bedside.