Kasteel de Haar is located in the town of Haarzuilens. This beautiful castle dates from 1391. A day trip to this castle is a fun day out for both children and adults. There are guided tours of the castle and the park is ideal for a romantic picnic, for example. In this article all kinds of information about the castle.
Huis de Haar has existed since 1391. The house of the de Haar family at the time consisted only of a residential tower along the dead arm of the Rhine. The castle continued to gain more and more, thanks to that
- the conflicts between the elite of the county of Holland
- The Dutch War
- The storm that also damaged the cathedral
Little of what was built at that time remained. In 1890 it was renamed to de Haar. This time the remaining remains were for Etienne baron van Zuylen van Nyevelt van de Haar and his wife Hélène de Rothschild. Thanks to her money they were able to rebuild the castle. She made use of the architect Pierre Cuypers, who worked on it for about 20 years. However, the family never actually lived in this building, but came there for a month a year. This still happens today. Thierry van Zuylen van Nyevelt from De Haar still comes regularly, at which time the castle is closed for visitors.
The castle was very modern for the time it was rebuilt. The castle had central heating and electric lighting. Yet we also come across some things that people would not be so quick to post these days. For example, there are ghost catchers in the men’s rooms. These are a kind of wooden points on the ceiling where the ghost would hang behind. However, these are not present in the women’s rooms. Many rooms are also painted in such a way that it looks like there is wallpaper on the walls, but the reality is that it is simply painted. The paintings and details took a lot of time. In total, the castle has 200 rooms and 30 bathrooms. Only a small part of this is open to visitors.
The designer of the parks and gardens around the castle was Hendrik Copijn. It had become an English landscape with French gardens. To realize it, around 7,000 trees are planned. Unfortunately, the garden was largely destroyed during the Second World War. The park has now been returned to its original state. Part of it has now become a golf course. The landscape covers a total of approximately 100 hectares.
Since no one expected the castle to become so large, a foundation was never constructed under the castle. The castle began to sag so much that cracks appeared in the wall. The restoration of the castle began in 2001 and took 8 years. Thousands of euros had already been lost to discover how the castle collapsed before they had to spend money on laying the foundation. The family still helps her with this. They sponsor a certain amount to the castle every year. The castle is now in perfect condition again.
To visit the park alone, adults pay €4 and children pay €3. A tour costs €14 for an adult and €9 for children between 4 and 12 years old. Children under 4 years old have free admission. Parking costs €4. You can visit the park daily between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The park may be closed on public holidays. In the park there is a souvenir shop and the ‘Tuynhuis’ where you can eat and/or drink something. There are several guided tours:
- one for adult
- one especially for children
- an English one
- an XL tour
Events are regularly organized at De Haar Castle. On these dates, different entrance fees may of course also apply to parking. One of the most famous events is the ‘Elf fantasy fair’. People come dressed as knights, elves, dwarfs, etc. to simulate fights, take photos and see each other’s creations.