n the first of may, fortunately a sunny day, thousands
of people came already early in the morning to the grounds behind the Rijksmuseum where the
exposition was held. Today this area is called the 'Museumplein'.
The main entrance, built in a Moorish style, was reached by passing the Rijksmuseum gate. In front of
the Dutch pavilion was a statue of Jan Pieterszoon Coen and an Atjeh-
The most spectacular building of the exposition was the colossal main building itself, with its bizarre facade. This creation of the French architect Fouquiau was a nice
puzzle for connoisseurs of eastern architecture. Inside one could visit the national pavilions of the
Netherlands and Belgium, France and Germany, and 24 other participating countries, under which
Japan, Transvaal and Siam. For a complete view of the fairground, see the
ext to the main building was the Dutch national pride; the colonies pavilion. Lots of different agricultural products, cultural treasures, native arms and much
more could be seen. But also on the grounds next to the pavilion, colonial curiosities were to be
seen; a Javanese village which was inhabited by real natives, as well as a Javanese compound with a
pagoda, a bridge made of bamboo, and more. Then there were several buildings: the King's pavilion,
the pavilion of the city of Amsterdam, the press, art, and places with
food and drinks. Newspapers reported a huge crowd everywhere in the city and in September more
than 15.000 Americans were expected.
housands of workmen came to the World Exposition at their employers
costs to broaden their outlook. They came from all over the country, mostly by foot, to become
acquainted with the wonders of the unknown. The workmen of the 'Koninklijke Nederlandsche Gist-
en Spritusfabriek N.V.' had to write a report describing their experiences. These reports show that
they were all very impressed by the huge number of different pavilions; they could not believe their
eyes. They saw models of plantations, different machines to work on wood and metals, a paper-
machine, a safe so big that it accommodate eight persons, a 1:20 scaled boulevard, a house with nine
stores, St Jozefs church and a marketplace. At the colonial section they saw the tobacco plant, a tobacco
shed, a Javanese village, a water castle, all sorts of wood, a nutmeg tree, lighthouses and docks, trains
from the Dutch East Indies, and much more. They listened to native music and in the concertroom the
heard the music which was played at a distance place.
ntil autumn the city of Amsterdam was in a special festive mood.
Thousands of visitors from everywhere in- and outside the country stayed in new hotels like the
'Americain' and 'Krasnapolsky', bought souvenirs of the exposition and stimulated by their presence
the expansion of public transport and the telephone network. When the exposition closed its doors on
November the 1st, more than one million tickets were sold.