Dear interested guests, as we’ve posted very many photos on this site, my quota is up, so please refer to our new photo site for further beautiful, new photos. The link can also be found on the left side of here, in the blog-roll.
by P. S. and Z. J. S.
In this – probably last – one of my blog entries about Dutch castles, I’m showing a castle which is only called a house, but it really is a castle, and the locals also call it that way. This place is the Huis Bergh in the village of ‘s Heerenberg, only a few miles from the German border in East Gelderland. It is one of the oldest castles in the country, it dates back to the 12th century, and was continuously added to over the centuries. In a particular period, it went over to the Hohenzollers, though they never lived here.
The place is difficult to get to other than by car, and the Museumjaarkart is not accepted, but, in spite of a big fire in the 1930s, the exhibition inside is rich in 15th and 16th century portraits and other paintings, and a lot of other artifacts, and descriptions and explanations of the lords of the area, so it is worth a good half-day’s visit.
by P. S.
This time, we’re taking you on our trip to West-Germany, near the Mosel river. A beautiful part of Germany with little old towns and villages, it is home to several ancient castles of ancient families. Most are abandoned, but some are still owned and lived by those families and so there is usually limited access to them by the public, if at all. They are also often difficult to access.
The first one now, Eltz, is quite in its original state. Only two-thirds is sometimes open, but then they’re not open to the public for months, like when we tried. However, it’s a magic place even in darker weather and is worth the longish ride from the Mosel and another kilometer of walking to seemingly the end of the country. One wonders, how long in the days of horses it took the owners to collected the tax due to them on which they survived, but hunting surely provided a lot of their base. Today there are wonderful mountain trails in the area that may make for a great day’s program for the town-weary.
The other beautiful castle, which is high above one of the bigger tourist villages of the area between Koblenz and Trier, in Cochem, is seen from far away in the Mosel valley. In this beautiful village, it may be a major pulling force just by being there, though it is partially open to visitors from the public for a decent 5 Eur. One is not allowed to see much inside, nothing in the towers, but that little is beautiful, and the sights themselves and the excursion already make it worth every minute.
However, the castle is almost unapproachable by car, we also took a steep path up. Well worth every step.
by P.S. and Z.J.S.
I’ve chosen to show these two palaces I’ve visited lately because they are about the same style and age, though the first one can’t be visited, as I was a bit disappointed to find out. When I had to go to Zeist, near Utrecht, I hadn’t expected a palace as well.
Slot Zeist turned out to be in a nice area. The building itself was built in the 17th century for Willem Adriaan, count of Nassau-Odijk. It is surrounded by a ditch, but it’s easy to walk around under age-old trees of the park. There’s a very nice atmosphere there in autumn.
The palace is not open to the public, so I couldn’t go inside, but according to their web-site, the place can be hired for various high-quality events, like conferences, big wedding parties and other festivities. From their web-site photo, it really looks great inside!
The other 17th century palace, De Paleis Het Loo, is to be found in Apeldoorn, North of Arnhem. This was the living area of the royal family from King William III of England, stadtholder of the Low Counties, and his wife Mary II until Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, so this was a major property of the House of Oranje. This line of history defines the interior of the whole palace and its surroundings, a huge set of gardens, which all stand in an enormous park. Unless you have a Museumkaart, entry for adults costs 14.5 Euros, but it is worth it, though for children it is a lot less interesting than some of the places I showed you in my earlier posts.
Stables and coach houses near the entrance
The long way to the palace
- The main gate is the summer entry
by P. S.