The Netherlands

Soestdijk Palace to open more rooms for public view

It has been announced that for the second half of February, some more buildings at the Soestdijk Palace will be made available to the public tour.

The three buildings; the stables, garages and servant’s quarters are situated on the opposite side of the Amsterdamsestraatweg to the main Palace. The servant’s quarters and stables were added in the latter half of the nineteenth century. However, the garages were not added until 1974 when the Palace was home to Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhardt, they passed in 2004 and the Palace has been open to the public since 2006.

The Palace was originally built for Cornelius de Graeff, the Mayor of Amsterdam in the seventeenth century and the builder Maurits Post was also responsible for the building of two of the Royal Palaces; Huis ten Bosch and Noordeinde. The Palace was gifted to the Royal family by Cornelius’ son Jacob and the intention was to use it as a Royal Hunting Lodge or Summer Palace

War has intervened on a couple of occasions, in 1794 during the Napoleonic Wars and in 1940, on both occasions, troops were billeted at the Palace. Following the Napoleonic Wars Louis Buonaparte was declared King of Holland and he took residence in the Palace and began making improvements. These were continued by William II of the Netherlands who was gifted the Palace following his service at the Battle of Waterloo. It was at this time that the two wings to the property were added.

In the middle of the Nineteenth century the property was enhanced by the inclusion of fine Neoclassical furnishings that King William had had formerly in a palace in Belgium. Belgium having gained independence from Holland in 1830. The Palace was handed to the state in 1970, although it remained residence of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhardt until their deaths in 2004. The property sits with landscaped gardens dating from the time of Louis Buonaparte and guided tours are available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays though they must be booked in advance.