Doorn Manor

In the village Doorn is an old manor house, known as Huis Doorn (Doorn Manor). The house has a long history (going back to medieval times), but its main claim to fame is its last inhabitant, who settled here in 1920: Wilhelm II, the last German emperor. The first world war (1914-1918) ended disastrously for Germany, and many Germans blamed their emperor for it. Wilhelm...

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The canals of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous for its many canals. The main canals form concentric semicircles, against the IJ river. Alongside the canal are thousands of monumental buildings. The main canals are the Heerengracht, the Keizersgracht and the Prinsengracht. Look at the photo of the Prinsengracht, above, at the beautiful bridge, and at the beautiful canal houses on the bank. There...

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St Willibrord Church, Utrecht

The city Utrecht has many beautiful old churches. One of the lesser known gems is the St Willibrord Church. The St Willibrord is a catholic church, where the tridentine (or Latin) mass is still celebrated. It is also a beautifully decorated church, that you must visit if you have a chance. The church welcomes visitors on Friday and Saturday afternoon. Admission is free,...

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The windmill of Wijk bij Duurstede

The windmill Rijn en Lek, on the Dijkstraat street in Wijk bij Duurstede, province Utrecht, is built right on top of the city gate – unique in Holland! The windmill was built in the 17th century, the city gate is even older, it dates from the 14th century The mill, a gristmill, is in use and open to the public in the afternoon in most weekends. Admission is free,...

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The great Haarlem organ

Seeing all these colonnades of bone so methodically ranged about, would you not think you were inside of the great Haarlem organ, and gazing upon its thousand pipes? The above quote comes from Herman Melville’s famous novel, Moby Dick. He compares the inside of the mouth of a whale with the great Haarlem organ. This great Haarlem organ is the pipe organ of the St...

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A windmill in Haarlem

From 1778 until 1932, windmill De Adriaan, on the bank of the river Spaarne, was an important landmark for the city Haarlem. Disaster struck in 1932, when the mill was completely destroyed by fire. Since that time, there have always been plans to rebuild De Adriaan, but it did not happen until the turn of the century. In 2002, 70 years after the fire, a completely new...

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Duurstede Castle

In the town Wijk bij Duurstede, province Utrecht, are the remains of an old castle: Kasteel Duurstede, or Duurstede Castle. The history of this castle goes back to the 13th century, when a donjon was built on this place. In the 15th century the bishop of Utrecht settled in Duurstede, and he had the donjon expanded into a large castle, with the old donjon in the centre of...

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