Castel de Haar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACastel de Haar is a very pretty castle. It is also a castle with an interesting history. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABuilt as a medival castle, it had basically fallen to ruins by the beginning of the 19th century. Then, a miraculous thing happened: The destitute owner of the castle, Baron van Zuylen van Nyevelt van de Haar, Hélène de Rothschild, daughter to one of the richest families of that time. Now owning a castle and the means to restore it, they hired Pierre Cuypers to build it from scratch. Or almost. The result is a medievalOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA castle with central heating, hot water and electricity. The kitchen installed was ‘the top of the line’ back then, with a steam powered rotisserie, inbuilt bain de marie and more. It was, however, still wood powered. The primary aim of the castle was “to be a place for extravagant parties” and that is what it became for the last 120 years. To this day the family returns to the castle once per years to throw large parties and enjoy the finer things. A newer kitchen has been insalled however.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEverything was designed by Cuypers from the castle building, to the furniture down to the tableware. Though most of the tableware still exists today only two of the original glasses survived until now and ‘normal’ glasses are used nowadays at parties. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHowever Cuypers didn’t get his way everywhere. Helene de Rothschild did not like the neo-gothic optics that Cuypers chose in the restoration.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA She insisted her rooms be more plain. This led to fights between the architect and the baronness and since neither of the two wanted to yield, several rooms now have two doors: one in neo-gothic style facing toward the central hall and one, plainer door, facing toward the room. That way both could get their will.

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