History

  • The park of Duivenvoorde has a rich history. This history can be followed using the old maps and drawings that have been preserved in the castle. In the early 17th century, a square park with canals was built at Duivenvoorde, as shown by a map of Rhineland made by Floris Balthasar in 1615.

    French baroque garden
    In the early 17th century, Arent IX van Wassenaer (1669-1721) commissioned the construction of French gardens. These gardens are characterised by straight lines, symmetrical flowerbeds, and square basins of water. The classicist sandstone garden vases with mythological scenes on the bridge to the castle are reminders of this French baroque garden. After the death of Arent IX van Wassenaer, Duivenvoorde was inhabited less and less, and the gardens were reclaimed by nature.

    English landscape garden
    DHalfway through the 19th century, in the time that the Steengracht family resided at Duivenvoorde, the French baroque garden made way for an English landscape garden. Between 1841 and 1849, the renowned landscape architect Jan David Zocher Jr (1791-1870) constructed a new garden. Zocher incorporated meandering paths, ponds, little bridges, romantic forested areas, and beautiful views into the new garden.

    Restored castle park
    After more than 150 years, the English landscape park had lost much of its natural vitality. Therefore, the Duivenvoorde Foundation commissioned landscape architect Michael van Gessel in 2007 to design a plan for restoring the park. Van Gessel restructured the park. All the lanes, trails, groups of trees, meadows, and water parts were returned to the smooth contours of Zocher's time. This brought back air, spaciousness, vitality, and centuries-old allure to the park. Remarkable is the restoration of the old sightlines on the surrounding landscape and the new forest pond. The park also offers more walking and resting possibilities nowadays.

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