Duivenvoorde Castle was first mentioned in 1226, making it one of the oldest castles in South Holland. The castle is remarkable in that it has never been sold, which can be said of very few Dutch castles. It has passed by inheritance through several noble houses, sometimes through the matrilineal line. For the first five centuries of its history, the castle was owned by one family, the van Duivenvoordes, who gave their name to it. Although thus named, the van Duvenvoirdes properly formed part of the House of Wassenaer, an ancient noble family which has played an important role in Dutch history. Towards the end of the 17th century an owner of Duivenvoorde Castle, Johan van Duvenvoirde, readopted the name of van Wassenaer. Therefore, although the same family remained in the House, this was under a different name.

The last private owner of the castle was Jonkvrouwe Ludolphine Henriette, Baroness Schimmelpenninck van der Oye (1891-1965). Knowing that with her death the house would be sold and the furniture dispersed, including the collections of portraits, porcelain and clothing and textiles, she decided to close the house and leave it in the care of a foundation for restoration. The stated aim was to restore the castle to its appearance in 1717, although in practice this has not always been possible. The terrace constructed around 1844 has been kept, and the opening of previously sealed windows to allow more light into the living room has taken away some symmetry. The interior has been redecorated to match the colours of 1717, and later piecemeal work on the ceilings has been left in place. Today Duivenvoorde is a musem.

In 1717, two Roman stones were installed as plaques in the front hall. The larger of the two stones, dated between 196 and 198 AD, has an inscription on the front about the repair of an armory by Roman troops; the text on the other side is older, dating from somewhere between 103 and 111 AD. In the making of the newer text, the stone was made smaller, damaging the older text. The smaller stone has a text which, through knowledge of the people named there in, can date the stone to around 205 AD.

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Founded: 1226
Category: Castles and fortifications in Netherlands

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User Reviews

Yadirah Flores (3 years ago)
Wonderful location, the garden is beautiful and the castle - or manor - is just the picture perfect. The interior of the manor feels homely and has been kept very well. The guide who took us round the manor was passionate about the place and was able to tell wonderful stories of the place and the people who lived there. It is definitely worth a visit.
Sunny (3 years ago)
A nice place to relax, to take a walk and visit the castle. The park costs only €1 per person and parking is free. The castle must be visited with tour guide at 2pm and 3:30pm. However, it is only in Dutch (this should be mentioned in the English website to avoid misunderstanding). English guided tour can be booked (write to them or call them in advance) but I am not sure whether I will be back again (a bit disappointed of being refused to enter).
Charles Seaton Jr. (3 years ago)
It's an interesting place. It's a community which just happens to have a lovely structure (I wouldn't call it a castle) sitting right in the middle of it. We stopped by while driving from Den Hague heading towards Amsterdam. This place has tons of land and trees that makes a perfect recipe for a stroll and a picnic.
Paul Kee (3 years ago)
Nice castle. Recommend the restaurant near it.
Halcyon Flowers (3 years ago)
Stately place with spacious grounds. Went for a violin and piano concert in a beautiful room filled with the family portraits. Would be nice to come back for a tour of the place.
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