Castle Keukenhof Lisse
Other names: Kasteel Keukenhof, Castle "De Keukenhof"
Keukenhof Castle is located just outside Lisse, straight across the entrance of the famous Keukenhof Park, garden and flower exposition. The castle can be easily reached by car from Amsterdam and Schiphol; once arrived in Lisse follow the road N208 and the visible street signs pointing to Kasteel Keukenhof. By public transport, you can take the train to Leiden Centraal (about 30 minutes travel from Amsterdam Centraal) and the bus 54 from the nearby station (Keukenhof Express – it leaves two times every hour).
This is a castle that has stayed within the same family for centuries by means of inheritance. Its origins are strictly connected to the success of the Golden Age ‘United East Indian Company’ (V.O.C.): the man who built it in 1642 was Adriaen Maertenszoon Block, a former Commander of V.O.C on the Moluccan islands. In that age the Moluccans were especially important because of their precious cloves and the VOC was fighting a grim battle to enforce the monopoly over this spice.
He bought the land of "Keukenduin" (literally ‘kitchen dune’) with the purpose to have his house built there. He then slowly expanded the property and even became the biggest landowner in the area. The castle did not have towers yet, but still the splendid halls on the first floor must have impressed many visitors.
In the following centuries the estate kept growing until 1809 (thanks to squire Steengracht).
The salons are full of furniture dating of many years and styles. For instance, in the book cabinet, a very beautiful and complete Encyclopaedia from 1770 is on display (the Foundation that owns the estate now has employed a team of professionals and volunteers to take care of the many and varied restorations).
The story of the castle’s inhabitants is told by the large collection of painted portraits on the walls. The beautiful interior - still in its original setting - shows how the lords of castle "De Keukenhof" lived. Even the kitchen is still intact and it is still used during festivities and dinner parties at the castle.
You can visit the gardens around the castle, while the castle itself is open to the public from May to October only on Monday afternoon (with guided tours at 13:30 and at 15:00; you need to reserve in advance at 0252-750692 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The entrance fee is 6 Euro per person (people over 65: 4 Euro per person; kids under 12: gratis)
The castle is used for different events including concerts, festivals, fantasy and medieval fairs, and of course flowers festival in spring. The castle can also be booked for private events (parties, Wedding ceremonies, dinners) through Catering Landgoed Keukenhof (Tel. 0252 – 750690). The building of a theme garden depicting development of the castle during the past 4 centuries is in progress.
Free pictures of Castle Keukenhof to illustrate your web site:
Nearby cities: Lisse, The Hague, Amsterdam,
Nearby castles: Loenersloot
Authors: Simona Vinati - Pictures: LL Drenth