The Oude Loo castle was built in the 15th century. In 1684, the castle and the surrounding land was bought by William III of Orange. On this land, he had Het Loo Palace built. The castle was used by the court, among other things as an apothecary. In the 19th century the castle came in the hands of Louis Napoleon who filled up the moat. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands had the castle and the moat restored by architect Pierre Cuypers. Since 1968, the castle is owned by the Dutch state. Since 1973, it is a national heritage site. The castle is currently used by the Dutch Royal Family as a country house and guest residence.
The castle park construction began in the 17th century. Paths, ponds and alternating open spaces and groves of trees have been used to create a varied natural-looking landscape. The western and northern parts were heathland when they were purchased in the 19th century. They were sown to Scots pine and are now varied forest areas interspersed with patches of heath. In this part of the park is an old meltwater valley formed in the most recent ice age, Wilhelmina's Valley. Many of the numerous cultural heritage elements in the park have been restored. Recently, part of the park underwent a makeover to a design by the landscape architect Michael van Gessel.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.