In the Netherlands we still have more than five hundred. And: the surrounding park is sometimes freely accessible. The five most special at a glance.
1. Beeckestijn estate in Kennemerland
Was founded in the 18th century as a summer residence of the Amsterdam regents. Since 2019 it has been furnished as ‘Museum House Floor’. In the rooms you can experience what it was like to live in the house in 1717. The geometrically landscaped and freely accessible gardens surround the house.
2. Clingendael estate in Wassenaar
This 17th century house was occupied by Reich Commissioner Arthur Seyss-Inquart during World War II and is now used by the Clingendael Institute. The most famous part of the accompanying park is the Japanese Garden, which is open to the public for only eight weeks a year. It is the largest Japanese garden in the Netherlands and a national monument since 2001.
3. Nienoord estate in Leek
The centuries-old estate is now an amusement park. There is another shell cave dating from 1700 on the site. This is not a cave but a garden dome whose walls are inlaid with a mosaic of shells and stones.
4. Soestdijk Palace in Baarn
Was built around 1650 as a country residence of the Amsterdam mayor Jacob de Graeff. King Willem II, together with his Russian wife, Princess Anna Paulowna, beautifully decorated it as a summer residence. The former palace of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard is currently undergoing extensive renovation.
5. Fraeylemaborg estate in Slochteren
Was inhabited for centuries, until 1972, by ‘families of status’, such as Fraeylema, Hora Siccama and Rengers. It is now a museum, but is normally also used as a wedding hall and for concerts and receptions. The beautiful park around the house is freely accessible.
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