The biggest castle in the Netherlands is the De Haar Castle. It is one of the best-known European historical houses and one of the most visited because of its luxury.
The current structure is built upon the original castle that was built in the 14th century. The new castle was designed by the architect, P. J. H. Cuyers in a Neo-Gothic style between 1892 and 1912. In 1391, the De Haar family received the whole site from Hendrik van Woerden. The original castle remained in their family until 1440, and then it was passed on the Van Zuylen family.
It was largely rebuilt during the 16th century and when the last male heir of the family died childless, the castle fallen into ruins. In 1672, it escaped from destruction during the Rampjaar. At the beginning of the 19th century the last van Zuylen, Anton-Martinus van Zuylen van Nijevelt, gave the property to Jean-Jacques van Zuylen van Nyevelt, who was his cousin.
At the end of the century, the castle was inherited by Jean-Jacques’ grandson who got married to Helene de Rothschild. In this period, the castle was entirely rebuilt by the architect Pierre Cuypers.
The current building has 200 rooms, of which 30 are bathrooms and today, only a small number of them on the ground floor is opened to the public. On the first floor, in the hall, there is a statue of the architect Cuypers. He equipped the whole castle with electrical lighting that has its generator and the most modern items.
There is also a central heating inside, which today is recognized as an industrial monument. The kitchen was also very modern for its time and still has a large collection of items which were used by the family. There are many details inside of the De Rothschild family such as the Stars of David, the motto of the family, and the coat of arms.
The castle is surrounded by a park which was designed by Hendrik Copijn. Van Zuylen ordered Copijn to plant 7, 000 fully grown trees on the site and because it was impossible for the trees to be transported through the city, he bought a house and then tore it down to make more space.
These magnificent trees were lost during the WWII because they were used to light fires, but the whole garden was restored again to its old splendor. In 2, 000, the family passed ownership of the castle to the Kasteel de Haar foundation. After the last male heir, Thierry van Zuylen had passed away, the interior and the whole art collection of the castle was sold by his daughter.