[quote=Emily] Wow, Henri m., thank you for this very complete picture show of the Castle! I do have some additional questions that I wonder if you might be able to answer? Is the Old Castle on firm ground or actually built into the water of the moat? What kind of acreage do the castle/palace sit on? (and isn't Princess Margriet's house on the same domain?) Who uses the new Palace and how far is it from the Castle? So is this a very private domain, then? Can the Imperial CP Couple have freedom to walk on the domain without press intrusion? Thank you for any help you, or others, can give.
The pictures are from ANP and uploaded via my own webspace.
The old mediaeval castle is build in the water, not in a moat. See picture:
The Crown Domains itself are about 11.000 hectare. It is situated next to the National Park De Hoge Veluwe
. With some other private nature reserves it makes some 28.000 hectare with uninterrupted forests, moorlands, wetlands and water-meadows in the east of the Netherlands. Only a few small villages (often tennants to the Crown Domains) here and there.
It is connected by wild-viaducts, wild-tunnels and special protected pathways with other nature areas in the Netherlands, together part of the country's extended 'Supreme Ecological Structure' in which man's activities are subject to animal and nature preservation.
In 1959 Queen Beatrix' grandmother, Princess Wilhelmina, who was Queen for almost 60 years (1890-1948) handed over the ownership of the Royal Domain Het Loo to the State. But there were few conditions:
- the domain can not be fragemented or affected
- the Sovereign keeps the 'usufruct' of the domains
- the Sovereign keeps the hunting rights
- the Sovereign appoints and dismisses the management and the staff working on the domains and the royal forestry
- profits from the domain are used by the Sovereign for the maintenance of the domains
The most important condition however is: the Crown Domain will be returned to the Orange-Nassaus in case the monarchy will end in the Netherlands.
So at one side it is a life insurance for the Orange-Nassaus, at the other side the State was bequeathed for free a wonderful ancient nature reserve and it was opened for the public.
The Crown Estate Het Loo is divided in two parts: the palace park
and the royal forestry
. The names are a bit misleading because the palace park has forests as well. Het Oude Loo
(the castle), Het Loo
(the palace) and Het Nieuwe Loo
(Princess Margriet's house) are situated in the palace park.
The mediaeval castle is not so far from the palace and is very private. Sometimes when the lilacs or the rhododendrons are blooming in all splendour, access is given to the castle's surrounding area. But usually you and I will not see much more than the top of a tower or a flagpole peeping above the trees. The imperial family will have all freedom to relax without any fear for media or public.
The Queen is very devoted to Het Loo.
For her 60th birthday she ordered a massive work of art to be done in the forests:
60 bronze stumps of trees are planted, exactly following the pillars in the floorplan of the Cathedral of Reims, where all French Kings were crowned.
Due to the natural patina these heavy as lead stumps looks like real.