Last weekend, I once again decided to explore some of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands and ended up visiting the grandiose De Haar Kasteel. The castle is situated about 10 minutes cycle outside the village of Haarzelius, a roughly one hour cycle from the Utrecht city centre. Despite its closeness, reaching it from Utrecht was quite a challenge, since I cycled there on a rainy, freezing day, so by the time I arrived at the castle, I couldn’t feel my toes or fingers. Nevertheless, I’m proud of the achievement and the sights that this little trip has offered me were totally worth it!
The castle charms the visitor through its imposing structure, but also through the small details that complete its image, like the little white and red painted shutters, or the statues that welcome you at the entrance. The kasteel was built in the 14th century and belonged, at the beginning, to the De Haars, a family of feudal lords. The present image of the castle, however, differs a lot from how it looked back then. In the 15th century, the castle burnt down and, over the following centuries, it was subject to multiple restorations, with the most significant one being the one funded by the Rothschild family, at the end of the 19th century. The interior of the castle is beautifully decorated with various pieces from the Rothschild collections, such as old Japanese and Chinese porcelain vases and decorations and Flemish tapestries. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and little ponds. The many trees, waterworks and their very structured organisation reminded me of the Versailles gardens.
All in all, I really enjoyed visiting this little jewelry hidden in the province of Utrecht. It is a truly gorgeous place and I would definitely recommend you to visit it. 🙂