Museum Huis Doorn
The first house was built in the 9th century. After several renovations, it was rebuilt in the late 18th century as an elegant country house, with a surrounding park laid out as an English landscape garden. Previous notable occupants of the house include Baroness Ella van Heemstra (1900-1984), the mother of actress Audrey Hepburn.
A pocket-sized imperial court
Huis Doorn became known as the last residence of the last German Kaiser, Wilhelm II. On exile after the German defeat in World War I, Wilhelm flees to neutral Holland and lived in the manor from 1920-1941. With furnishing from the palaces in Berlin and Potsdam, splendid paintings and luxurious silver, the royal asylum-seeker surrounded himself with objects from the past. The original inventory is still intact; the museum shows the house’s interiors just as Wilhelm left it. Marvel at marquetry commodes, tapestries, paintings by German court painters, artefacts, and the highlight of the museum: Wilhelm’s personal collections of snuff boxes and watches that belonged to Frederick the Great.
Lush English gardens
One of the main reasons Wilhelm chose Huis Doorn as his new home was the splendid English gardens on the estate. Being a keen gardener himself, Wilhelm added a pine tree garden (the pinetum) and the beautiful Auguste Victoria Garten, an extravagant rose garden named after his first wife. Not to be missed - a touching salute to the Kaiser’s three beloved dachshunds, which are buried underneath little tombstones on the lawn next to the house. In accordance to his last will, the Kaiser’s remains are buried in a mausoleum on the estate, to await his return to Germany upon restoration of the Prussian monarchy.
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