Castle Zuylen, Utrecht
Other names: Slot Zuylen, the castle of Zuylen.
Location: The Zuylen castle is located just outside Utrecht, in the village of Oud-Zuilen. The place can be reached from Utrecht via road A2 direction Maarssen, turning right at the crossing with the N320. The castle is also reachable by public transport, bus number 36 leaves from Utrecht Central Station. Get off at Oud-Zuilen and walk towards the village, the castle is situated right after the bridge on the right-hand side, within a 10-minute walk, at Tournooiveld 1.
History: Zuylen castle has a rich cultural history. The castle was originally built in the 13th century, and parts of it still date from the 16th century, contributing to the castle’s medieval appearance. There are four main towers at each corner of the castle and the entrance is presided over by a charming gate-tower. The castle is surrounded by water on three sides. The original castle was demolished in 1420 and rebuilt in 1520, after which the estate belonged to the family Van Tuyll van Serooskerken. A descendant of that family, Diederik Jacob van Tuyll van Serooskerken, gave the castle its current appearance with the help of architect Jacob Marot in 1752. A famous Dutch writer Belle van Zuylen was born in the castle in 1740 and spent much of her early life there, therefore the inside of the castle is strewn with mementos such as her portraits and possessions. The fact that she came up with many of her ideas in the castle gives the place a further cultural value. The castle is now a museum, furnished much in the style of the past times, sporting original furniture, glasswork, porcelain and paintings, legacy of the Van Tuyll family who lived here until 1952.
Access: The gardens are free to enter and are open until 17.00. The inside hosts a museum. The opening hours of the museum vary according to season. The museum can only be visited with a tour guide and from 15 May until 15 September tours take place from Tuesday to Thursday every hour starting at 11.00 until 16.00, Saturdays from 14.00 until 16.00, Sundays from 13.00 until 16.00. The castle in then closed Mondays and Fridays.
Activities: It is possible to arrange occasions in the castle, such as meetings and weddings, including catering. Contact: +31302440255. The castle has a waterside terrace serving drinks. There is a gourmet restaurant Belle next to the castle grounds.
Other castles in the area: Nijenrode, Gunterstein, De Haar (Haarzuilens), Vleuten and many more.
Nearby cities: Utrecht, Amsterdam, Zeist, Amersfoort, Hilversum.
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