[travel] A visit to Kasteel de Haar @ Utrecht, the Netherlands

There are quite a large number of castles in the Netherlands scattered across the country. At the heart of Utrecht, however, lies Kasteel De Haar (De Haar Castle), which is the largest and most luxurious of its kind in the Netherlands. I had always wanted to visit this castle, but it seems really complicated to get there so I kept postponing my trip :( Fortunately, last Sunday I went on a tour organized by my college, and had a great time wandering around this beauty.

About the Castle:

A visit to De Haar is a journey of discovery to a marvellous world. There are only a few castles in Europe that have the same ideal image of a medieval fortress with towers and ramparts, with canals, gates and drawbridges. The castle was entirely restored and partially rebuilt in the late 19th century and it rises like a fairy-tale castle from a park with impressive trees, surrounded by old gardens and ponds.

Yet this enchanting oasis of harmony and peace is not far from the daily bustle of the city of Utrecht. The unique complex has something to offer for everyone: young and old, the knowledgeable art lover and the casual visitor. De Haar is an unusual and fascinating mixture of the medieval and the modern comforts of the late 19th century.

Well that basically sums up everything I wanted to say. I was not totally impressed with the castle itself (but then I only looked at it from the outside; I didn’t visit inside the castle because I did not have 9.5 euro to spend lol), but really enjoyed its surroundings. There is a Chapel next to the Castle, a maze, a Rose garden (which is basically dead now because hey it’s almost winter), a Roman garden (looking cool even when all the trees are now leafless), a Deer garden, numerous canals and one Grand canal that looks totally regal, a picnic site, and lots of bridges. It took me around 3 hours to wander around (in the cold) but I enjoyed every minute of it.

The Castle is sooooooooooo pretty:

Looks awesome from every angle:

A bit close up:

The Courtyard in front of the Castle, which was not looking at its best because all the flowers were gone:

Next to the Castle is a Chapel, as you can see here:

It is another nice complex:

Just to the left side of the Castle is the Grand Canal: huge, long, crystal cleared water, and absolutely beautiful.

A walk along the Grand Canal:

Fairy tale ;A;

Other parts of the complex were equally romantic and beautiful:

The Deer garden with real friendly fellows:


As the sun set…

it was time for me to say goodbye to this majestic place:

Kasteel De Haar, Kasteellaan 1, 3455 RR Haarzuilens (How to get there.)
Entrance fee into the estate: 3.5 euro
Guided tour (in Dutch with English audio) inside the castle: 9.5 euro.


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