Learn more about the Netherlands’ history by exploring its splendid castles and country estates. There are around 700 throughout the whole of the Netherlands, ranging from historical forts to sumptuous stately homes. And the great thing is that many of them are open to the public nowadays, whether as museums, family-friendly tourist attractions, hotels, hostels or top-class restaurants.
The Other Holland has its fair share of castles and stately homes too, which reveal seven centuries of Gelderland history and how people used to live. Some of them are open to visitors, allowing you to see the way of life, the architecture and the art of bygone times; others can only be admired from the outside. But virtually all of them form part of expansive country estates and splendid natural landscapes where you can experience how things used to be.
Members of the Dutch Royal Family lived and worked at Paleis Het Loo for over 300 years. It was their outdoor retreat, and they used the palace as a hunting lodge and holiday home. It was where the Dutch Royal Family received their guests, both for business and pleasure, which is why they also paid great attention to the gardens and stables. They took leisurely strolls through the gardens, admiring the exotic plants and fl owers. Even the horses received treatment fi t for a king in the stables, located close to the Coach House with its vehicles, cars and sleighs. This rich, royal past can be seen at Paleis Het Loo.
Cannenburch is a castle with mediaeval origins that can be found in Vaassen, surrounded by an ancient wooded park with meadows and ponds. The castle’s historical setting is relatively intact. The old layout of the park and the millstreams are still visible in the landscape. Cannenburch Castle is a richly furnished nobleman’s house. Field Marshall Marten van Rossem built the castle on the ruins of a mediaeval stronghold. The original inhabitants of this castle take you back to the 18th century. You can tour the castle, the steward’s house and the park on your own with the help of an English audio tour or an app. English tours can be given upon request. Children will be amazed by the paintings that come alive and the castle’s fantastic attic.
Address: Maarten van Rossumplein 4, Vaassen. From the A50 motorway, take exit 26 Vaassen.
Opening hours: From April to October: Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 4pm (Additional opening during spring half-term, summer holiday, and autumn half-term)
Admission : Adults € 12, Children aged 4 to 18 € 5
Rent a bicycle, e-bike or electric scooter from Veluwe Actief and explore the ‘Gelders Arcadië Oost Route’ (45 km). This route takes you through the eastern part of the Veluwezoom region, passing through the villages of Rheden and Rozendaal as well as the outskirts of Arnhem. Along the way you can visit Rosendael Park and Castle (close to intersection 71) and Middachten Castle and Gardens (close to intersection 60).
- The sequence of intersections is as follows :