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The Rijksmuseum (English for: State Museum) is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts, crafts, and history. It has a large collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age and a substantial collection of Asian art. It also displays the stern of the ship Royal Charles which was captured in the Raid on the Medway, and the Hartog plate.

The museum was founded in 1800 in The Hague to exhibit the collections of the Dutch stadtholders. It was inspired by French example. By then it was known as the National Art Gallery. In 1808 the museum moved to Amsterdam on the orders of king Louis Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. The paintings owned by Amsterdam, such as The Night Watch by Rembrandt, became part of the collection.

In 18sixtythree there was a design contest for a new building for the Rijksmuseum, but none of the submissions was considered to be of sufficient quality. Pierre Cuypers also participated in the contest and his submission reached the second place. In 18 seventysix a new contest was held and this time Pierre Cuypers won. The design was a combination of gothic and renaissance elements. The construction began on October 1, 18 seventysix. On both the inside and the outside, the building was richly decorated with references to Dutch art history. Another contest was held for these decorations. The museum was opened at its new location on July 13, 1885.

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