De Haar Castle<
Europe in the Middle Ages
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De Haar Castle
Location: Castle de Haar is situated just outside of Haarzuilens, a little village to the west of Utrecht.
Built in: 12th century (exact date unknown)
Originally the castle was believed to be merely a donjon (tower) or a fortified farmstead. The first references to the castle were found in 1391. The registers show that the Bishop of Utrecht lent the castle to the Lord of Vianen, who in his turn lent it to Gijsbrecht van Boekel de Haar. Boekel de Haar is believed to be the first person who actually lived in or around the oldest area of the castle.
Initially (since the 12th century) the castle was in possession of the 'van de Haar' family. Yosina van de Haar and Dirk van Zuylen married in 1434. When Yosina died in 1449 the van Zuylen family became the new owners.
Due to repeated attacks, like the fights between the bishop and the town of Utrecht in 1482, and in 1672 during the French occupation of the Republic, the castle had to be restored several times.
After the last descendants of the marriage between from Yosina van de Haar and Dirk van Zuylen passed away in the 17th century, the castle was abandoned. Without any maintenance the castle slowly transformed into not much more than a ruin.
This lasted until 1890. Etienne Baron van Zuylen van Nijevelt van de Haar, who wedded Hélène de Rothschild, descendent of the rich and influential Rothschild family, restored the castle.
In 2000 the Stichting Kasteel de Haar became the new owner of the castle and the surrounding park.
The Van Zuylen family still owns the art collection in the castle, but loaned the collection to Stichting Kasteel de Haar for the next 30 years.
One month per year the castle is closed to the public. In that month the baron has the opportunity to spend time in his castle and gardens.
Pierre Cuypers, a famous architect, spent 20 years on the renovation of the castle (1892-1912). A nice detail: He made sure he would not be forgotten by immortalizing himself in a sculpture and placing it next to the other sculptures in the entrance hall.
See Location, Map and Satellite images Castle De Haar, Haarzuilens, Netherlands
Front of the castle
Front castle garden
Entrance of the castle
Gate of the castle
Leaded glass windows above entrance door
Bridge east of the castle
Bridge east of the castle (from the front)
Bridge east of the castle with castle in the background
Little church next to the castled
Back side of the castle and garden
Back side of the castle (partly)
Part of the castle (back garden perspective)
Perspective west of the castle
Family crest Van Zuylen / De Haar. 'Non titubans' is Latin for 'non wavering'
Family crests Van Zuylen / De Haar / van Nijevelt
Family garden stone - garden created in remembrance of Hélin van Zuylen (1988-1912)
Hélin van Zuylen died at age 24 in 1912 in a car accident near Rumpst in Belgium. To honor him, the rose garden was created with the memorial plate you are showing at the bottom of your story on the castle. 1913 was the year the rose garden was completed and Helin was buried in the Chapel near the castle. 1912 was also the year that the rebuilding of the castle by Pierre Cuypers was completed.