Fodor's Expert Review Kasteel de Haar

The Randstad Fodor's Choice

The spectacular Kasteel de Haar is not only the largest castle in the Netherlands, but also the most sumptuously furnished. Thanks to the fortuitous way the Barons van Zuylen had of marrying Rothschilds, their family home grew into a Neo-Gothic extravaganza replete with moat, fairy-tale spires, and machicolated towers. The castle was founded back in 1165, but several renovations and many millions later, the family expanded the house under the eye of P.J.H. Cuypers, designer of Amsterdam's Centraal Station and Rijksmuseum, in 1892. Inside the castle are acres of tapestries, medieval iron chandeliers, and the requisite ancestral portraits snootily studying you as you wander through chivalric halls so opulent and vast they could be opera sets.

You can view its grand interiors only via one of the guided tours (no kids under age 5), which leave on the hour and are led only in Dutch. No matter, the objects of beauty on display can be understood in any language. Once... READ MORE

The spectacular Kasteel de Haar is not only the largest castle in the Netherlands, but also the most sumptuously furnished. Thanks to the fortuitous way the Barons van Zuylen had of marrying Rothschilds, their family home grew into a Neo-Gothic extravaganza replete with moat, fairy-tale spires, and machicolated towers. The castle was founded back in 1165, but several renovations and many millions later, the family expanded the house under the eye of P.J.H. Cuypers, designer of Amsterdam's Centraal Station and Rijksmuseum, in 1892. Inside the castle are acres of tapestries, medieval iron chandeliers, and the requisite ancestral portraits snootily studying you as you wander through chivalric halls so opulent and vast they could be opera sets.

You can view its grand interiors only via one of the guided tours (no kids under age 5), which leave on the hour and are led only in Dutch. No matter, the objects of beauty on display can be understood in any language. Once you explore this enchanted domain, you'll easily understand why Marie-Hélène van Zuylen, who grew up here, went on to become Baroness Guy de Rothschild, the late 20th century's "Queen of Paris," famous for her grand houses and costume balls. Directions for car travelers are given on the castle website. For public transport, take Bus No. 127 leaving hourly from Vleuten Station, direction Breukelen/Kockengen, until the Brink stop in Haarzuilens, a 15-minute walk from the castle.

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Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Kasteellaan 1
Haarzuilen, Utrecht  3455 RR, Netherlands

030-677–8515

www.kasteeldehaar.nl

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €17, €6 grounds only; €6 parking, Castle daily 11–5, grounds daily 9–5

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