Amerongen Castle

The castle of Amerongen looks more like a manor house than a castle. The original castle, a real castle, was destroyed in 1672, during one of the many wars at the time. It was soon rebuilt, but since then it is basically a manor house with a moat. But it is still known as Kasteel Amerongen, Amerongen Castle. The castle was home to some illustrious people, but by far the...

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Highlights of Utrecht

Utrecht is an old city, with many medieval monuments, some of them over a millennium old. In medieval times it was the religious center of the Netherlands, but it lost some of its glory after the reformation. Today it is the fourth largest city of the the Netherlands, and home to the country’s largest university. Utrecht is a railway hub and can easily be reached...

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Prehistoric burial mounds near Lage Vuursche

Near the village Lage Vuursche, half hidden beneath the trees, you can see many small hills. They are not natural hills, but burial mounds of the first settlers of this region. And they are old, very old. Most of them between 3,000 and 4,000 years old, some of them as old as 5,000 years. We don’t know much about the people that built these burial mounds. They were...

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Soestdijk Royal Palace

Royal Palace Soestdijk was the residence of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. Originally built as a hunting lodge, it became the property of the Dutch royal family in the early 19th century, who extended the lodge to become the palace that it is now. The palace has been the summer residence of several Dutch kings and queens. In 1937, the newly-wed Princess Juliana chose...

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Highlights of Delft

Delft is an old Dutch city with a typical Dutch center, complete with canals and houses with beautiful gables. It has many claims to fame: William of Orange (a.k.a. William the Silent) was murdered in Delft and was buried there, the Dutch kings and queens are buried in Delft, Golden Age master painter Vermeer lived in (and made a few paintings of) Delft, and Delft Blue...

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Highlights of Holland

If you visit Holland and only have limited time, then these are the ten places that you must visit. 1. Amsterdam Amsterdam is the Dutch capital and the largest city of the country. Its airport, Schiphol, is the main port of entry of the country, and is probably where you start your visit of Holland. Amsterdam is a beautiful city – at least the downtown area is. You...

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Highlights of Nijmegen

Nijmegen claims to be the oldest city in the Netherlands. It is not the only city with that claim, but with a history that goes back over 2000 years it is certainly old. Nijmegen was home to emperors (Frederick I Barbarossa had a residence there, and Charlemagne probably lived there for a while) and dukes. Right now Nijmegen is one of the largest cities of the country....

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Hunebed museum

There are over 50 hunebedden in the Netherlands – all of them in the northeast, in and around the province Drenthe. A hunebed (plural: hunebedden) is a megalithic burial site. They are around 5,000 years old. Near the village Borger is the largest Dutch hunebed, and right next to it is a small museum: The hunebed museum. Inside the museum you can see a short...

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Highlights of Amsterdam

Dam The Dam is the main square of Amsterdam. On the Dam square you can find the National Monument, commemorating the Dutch war victims, and many monumental buildings, including the royal palace of Amsterdam. Canals Amsterdam is famous for its many canals and the typical canal houses. A good way to enjoy these is by foot, an even better way is on a canal cruise. Read...

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National Park Zuid-Kennemerland

The dunes in the National Park Zuid-Kennemerland, also known as the Kennemerdunes, are great for walking or cycling. The park is home to some rare plants, like Marsh Grass-of-Parnassus and several kinds of orchids. You may also encounter many species of animals, including deer, sand lizards, natterjack toads and nightingales. Scattered around the dunes are several...

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Brederode Castle

An old, medieval castle, built in the 13th century by William I of Brederode. The castle was destroyed, abandoned and rebuilt many times, until Wolfert of Brederode died in 1679. He was the last member of the Brederode dynasty, and when he died the castle was abandoned for good. In the 19th century the first restorations took place, sponsored by the Dutch government....

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War cemetery Overveen

In the dunes in the national park Zuid-Kennemerland, near the towns Bloemendaal en Overveen, is a small cemetery: The Erebegraafplaats (Cemetery of Honour) Bloemendaal/Overveen. A Dutch Cemetery of Honour is for people – military and civilian – who gave their lives for their country. In this particular cemetery are only civilians: 372 men and one woman. All...

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