Castles in the Netherlands 8 – Huis Bergh

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. P1090818P1090821P1090824P1090825P1090830P1090842P1090852P1090853P1090854P1090856P1090862P1090867P1090868P1090871P1090874P1090875P1090876P1090877P1090882P1090885P1090888P1090889P1090893P1090894P1090895P1090899P1090903

by P. S.




Moods and museums of Amsterdam – Part 1

This post is about one of the arguably most beautiful cities of Europe, one of my favourites. It is also one of those richest in museums and galleries with exhibits galore so I could restrict myself to museums themselves, but while I’d suggest you should be see them for yourselves, the city itself is also worth a lot of looking, which I wouldn’t like to miss. I will probably post twice about this gorgeous place anyway.

Though lots of international travellers would arrive by air at Schiphol airport, starting at the railway station seems appropriate, taking us right into one of the biggest and most interesting city centres one could imagine.

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Moods of Arnhem – Part 2

Here are some more photos about this beautiful city, capital of Gelderland province in the Netherlands. As can be seen from a few of the earlier photos, it is rare among Dutch towns and cities in that it lies on several hills North of the river Rhein. This makes it sometimes a bit difficult to go around on bike, but it has a very high ratio of parks in exchange, which makes it outstandingly enjoyable for recreation.

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In Burger's Zoo

In Burger’s Zoo

Waiting in the Zoo

Waiting in the Zoo

Openlucht Museum

Openlucht Museum

The last photos are from Sonsbeek Park.P1000829 P1010008 P1010047 P1020137 P1040487 P1040751 P1000235 P1040850 P1040924


Two castles in Germany – Eltz and Cochem

P1040405This 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.

P1040413The 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.

P1090099P1090102P1090105P1090009However, the castle is almost unapproachable by car, we also took a steep path up. Well worth every step.

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by P.S. and Z.J.S.


Castles in the Netherlands 7 – 2 palaces

slot ZeistI’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.


SlotZeist_074The 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

Stables and coach houses near the entrance

The long way to the palace

The long way to the palace

The main gate is the summer entry
The main gate is the summer entry


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by P. S.