About us

The history of the museum

From around 1850 it was very common for wealthy people to concern themselves with archaeology and ancient cultures. They like to immerse themselves in art and science, preferably in their own unique project. Setting up a museum collection was a common form.

The museum was realised by Jan Diepen (pictured bottom left, standing in the middle), son of a wealthy textile industrialist, in collaboration with the famous architect Pierre Cuypers. Cuypers’ name is often mentioned in the same breath as the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Central Station. The realisation of the underground museum is without any doubt one of his most unique projects. A sensational initiative that received cooperation from, among others, the Vatican and the Roman authorities. A project team put together by Jan Diepen and Pierre Cuypers travelled to the catacombs in Rome for research and preparation, and in 1910 the Roman Catacombs Museum was opened to the public.

The Roman Catacombs Museum today

In 2015, the museum started a new approach. Since then, the Roman Catacombs Museum has profiled itself as a ‘new style’ museum. This means that the connection with contemporary society and the public’s reach is central, and that the museum’s core activities (collection, contemporary programme, education) are in constant dialogue with each other and with the public.

With regard to exhibitions and events, the museum works closely with professionals from the contemporary educational and cultural world. Conceptual starting point of the contemporary programme is the connection between past and present. Both scientists and visual artists are invited to conduct research and/or respond to the museum’s themes. The interactive set-up creates an optimal bridge to the public, education and society.

In mid-2019, the Museum Romeinse Katakomben (Roman Catacombs Museum) redesigned its corporate identity. The logo has been slightly adapted in terms of colours and the abbreviation MRK appears everywhere in the various advertising and marketing communications.
In addition, the entrance building has undergone a metamorphosis and the entire building has been plastered, the woodwork has been painted and the facade has been provided with beautiful striking lettering. The banners show off on the street side, so that the museum is already clearly visible from the Shimano site. The new plantation completes the whole picture.


We take the utmost care with the information on this website. However, inaccuracies may occur.

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The Katakombenstichting, the organisation that operates under the name Museum Romeinse Katakomben (the Roman Catacombs Museum), can process personal data about you. Read the entire privacy statement.

Cultural ANBI

Public benefit organization


Plenkertstraat 55
6301 GL Valkenburg aan de Geul (The Netherlands)

T. +31 (0)43 6012554
M. +31 (0)6 51167856

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Photography: © MRK