De Haar Castle is one of the largest and most beautiful castles in the Netherlands. Situated near Amsterdam, this fairy-tale castle can trace its roots back to the 12th century but the current structure was built in the 19th century. Commissioned by Baron van Zuylen van Nyevelt (who married into the Rothschild family; one of Europe’s wealthiest), the castle was designed by Pierre Cuypers, who also designed some of Amsterdam’s iconic landmarks such as the Central Station and the Rijksmuseum.
A fairy tale castle near Amsterdam
With its towers, moats, drawbridges and gargoyles, De Haar Castle truly is an enchanting sight. I highly recommend taking a tour of the castle – the guides tell fascinating stories about the origins of the castle, interesting anecdotes about the van Zuylen/Rothschild family and offer an intriguing peek into life as an aristocrat in the 19th century. In addition, the interior of the castle is absolutely stunning – if the central foyer doesn’t grab your attention, the ballroom will! I also recommend a stroll around the extensive gardens with its centuries-old trees, lakes and statues.
De Haar Castle is located in the charming village of Haarzuilens (map), a 20-minute drive south of Amsterdam.
Read other Velvet Escape posts on The Netherlands. Other Velvet Escape Enchanting Spots include: