Haastrecht century-old sealed envelope reveals a personal diary
A mysterious sealed envelope marked "not to be opened until one hundred years have passed since the day of my death” was opened on Friday in front of 800 to 1000 people at the Museum Paulina Bisdom van Vliet in the town of Haastrecht, Zuid-Holland, Omroep West reported. The envelope, which had lain in a vault for a hundred years, was known as 'The Secret of Haastrecht.' To the surprise of many, it did not contain jewelry or a sum of money, but the diary of Paulina Bisdom van Vliet.
Drumroll! 🥁— Rembrandt's R👀m 🖌 (@RembrandtsRoom) September 8, 2023
A sealed envelope, tied with string, marked "not to be opened until one hundred years after my death have passed." Bequeathed by Paulina Bisdom van Vliet, a wealthy mayor's widow from Haastrecht. This afternoon at 3.30 pm 'the secret of Haastrecht' will be revealed! pic.twitter.com/ZePWsrelDV
Paulina Bisdom van Vliet was a wealthy mayor's daughter from Haastrecht. In her will, she mandated that the family home be transformed into a museum after her death, bequeathing nearly all her assets to the Bisdom van Vliet Foundation. She died on June 1, 1923.
Among her bequeathed possessions was a sealed envelope bearing an inscription that read: "Not to be opened until one hundred years have passed since the day of my death." This envelope had been kept safely in the museum, fueling several speculations and stories in the town for many years regarding its content.
The board of the foundation, which had kept the parcel for 100 years, removed the envelope from the vault on June 6. 'The Secret of Haastrecht' was revealed on Friday at 3:30 p.m. According to Omroep West, between 800 to 1,000 people were present when Ancora Dupain, the president of the foundation, unveiled it.
This made the news today. Not a local channel but actual national news. The secret of Haastrecht has been revealed along with this statue of Paulina and dog Nora. #hetgeheimvanHaastrecht #MuseumPaulinaBisdomvanVliet #Haastrecht pic.twitter.com/HpWOC0Hlqz— Jan-Joost Bouwman (@JanJoostBouwman) September 8, 2023
The diary features a hard, red cover labeled: 'Tagesbuch.' Each day of the year contains a proverb or quote. “It covers her life. A look at her inner life and memories of loved ones,” Dupain noted. Before making it public, the board intends to fully comprehend and interpret its content.
According to board members, the diary is "of great historical value" and "a valuable addition to the museum's collection."
The Secret of Haastrecht was revealed along with a statue of Paulina Bisdom van Vliet and her dog Nora.