Apeldoorn, the second royal residence of Holland


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Het Loo Palace and its palace gardens are typical of the royal character of Apeldoorn. Construction of the palace starts in 1686 under regent William III. After his coronation as King of England, the palace functions primarily as a hunting lodge. It remains an important location for the Royal Family for centuries. King William III and his daughter, Queen Wilhelmina, in particular use it as their main residence. After Wilhelmina passes away, Het Loo Palace is converted to a museum that devotes ample attention to the residence’s relationship with the House of Orange-Nassau.

  • A royal stature since the 17th century.
  • Discover the ties between the House of Orange-Nassau and Apeldoorn.
  • Visit Het Loo Palace with its beautiful gardens.

Royal stature

Apeldoorn is nestled amid the wide open, wooded Veluwe, Holland’s biggest nature reserve. It is initially a small village, but Stadtholder William III chooses the area as his hunting grounds in the 17th century. Het Loo Palace with its baroque architecture is expanded and embellished after he and his wife Mary Stuart are inaugurated as King and Queen of England. The palace gardens were as beautiful and refined as the gardens of Versailles and have retained their royal stature even today.

After the expulsion of emperor Napoleon, Het Loo Palace is constitutionally designated the official summer residence of the kings of Holland. After the palace is whitewashed, according to the fashion of the times, it quite literally becomes ‘the White House’ of Holland. King William III, and his daughter Queen Wilhelmina after him, reside here virtually permanently and govern the nation from Het Loo Palace. During the reign of Queen Wilhelmina, Queen’s Day is celebrated in Apeldoorn with aubades on the Palace Square and fireworks at the Apeldoorn park attended by the royal family. The palace is currently undergoing renovations. It will reopen to the public in mid 2021.

Castles and country residences

Other sites also become royal locations. Cannenburch Castle with its large park borders on the Crown’s Estate Het Loo and opens its doors to the members of the royal family and their elevated guests on a regular basis. The elegant Rosendael Castle near Arnhem was the residence of Jan and Janne Margriete Van Arnhem, trusted counselors of King and Stadtholder William III and Queen Mary II. William III and the lord of Rosendael share a passion for hunting and horticulture.

Ties with the House of Orange-Nassau

Apeldoorn evolves into the big and flourishing city it is today in part thanks to the presence of members of the Royal Family. The attraction of the Royal Family, its court, royal guests from Holland and abroad, and the frequent arrival and departure of ministers and diplomats had a huge impact on the city. The family had a visible presence in the community and gave Apeldoorn an advantage over other villages in the Veluwe. The community benefited since the court brought work. The palace recruited its serving personnel from the village and many shop owners became royal purveyors.

The ties between the House of Orange-Nassau and Apeldoorn lives on because Princess Margriet lives there. Het Loo Palace became a museum after Queen Wilhelmina passed away. It highlights the relationship of the House of Orange-Nassau with Holland in the well-appointed spaces that show the history of its residents, as well as exhibitions and permanent presentations. Throughout the city, there are many other sites that demonstrate Apeldoorn’s history as a royal residence. The stately Loolaan connects the palace to the city. Monuments to honor the members of the Royal Family who were important to the development of the city can be found in streets and on city squares.

Royal Holland

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Apeldoorn, the second royal residence of Holland