Kasteel de Haar
The current building of the Castle de Haar is located near Haarzuilens in the Netherlands. It was designed and erected in 1892 by architect Pierre J.H. Cuypers as a Neo-Gothic restoration project.
Baron Fredrich Van Zuylen Van de Haar married Helene Rothschild in 1892. It was Helene’s family that funded this reconstruction project which began then and was completed 15 years later.
Background: The original structure built at this site dates back to 1391 for the De Haar family. It then became the possession of several generations of the family over the next few hundred years, until Johan van Zuylen van de Haar died childless in 1641 with no heir.
The castle was left to deteriorate until the Baron Van de Haar’s marriage to Helene Rothschild 251 years later.
More detailed information on the castle ownership history can be seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasteel_de_Haar.
Its exterior is both grand and functionally sturdy in appearance with numerous spires at various points around the periphery. Various gardens and a park can be seen on the grounds surrounding the structure.
The castle interior is decorated with large and very ornate wooden carvings, designed by the architect Cuypers. He also used such carvings in the Roman Catholic Church on the property. Subsequently, these carvings were in great demand in neighboring Catholic churches as well and he used his studio for much of this work.
Containing 200 rooms and 30 bathrooms as well as a modern kitchen, the interior also is richly decorated with a collection of porcelain pieces and numerous tapestries, all of which were donated by the Rothschild family.
The castle displays the image of the Van Zuylen family coat of arms, characterized by 3 red pillars on a white background.
The current owner of the castle is the Foundation De Kasteel de Haar, who purchased it from the family, with an agreement that the Van Zuylen family can reside there 1 month out of the year. The surrounding grounds are still used by the community for fairs and markets.
For more information on tourism in the Netherlands lease go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_the_Netherlands