Flower Palace Het Loo
This year ‘Flower Palace Het Loo’ is devoted to looking at the changes the gardens have undergone. The gardens were radically transformed in the past during the three centuries when the palace served as a royal residence and when the palace was thrown open to the public as a museum. This spring saw the completion of the most recent renovation work.
May 2015 will see the completion of the last phase of the renovation of the gardens of Paleis Het Loo which began in 2007 and proceeded in stages as the gardens were dug over and redone.
At the end of the seventeenth century, the first inhabitants of the palace, the King-Stadholder William III and his wife Mary II of England, or William and Mary as they are best known, had a new hunting lodge ‘Het Loo’ constructed close to the medieval castle ‘Het Oude Loo’, complete with a splendid Dutch baroque garden. It was quite exceptional at the time to create such an Eden in the wild heathland and sandy plains of the region.
In the nineteenth century, Napoleon’s brother, Louis Napoleon, as King of Holland (1806-1810), had the formal garden covered over with a thick layer of sand and created a romantic landscaped park. When the palace became a museum in 1975, a small part of the landscaped park was replaced by a reconstruction of the seventeenth century garden. Forty years later, the gardens were once again ready for major renovation and between 2007 and 2015 they have been completely dug over and replanted in an innovative way on the basis of new insights and historical sources.
The exhibition presents the most important seventeenth and eighteenth century sources on which the reconstruction work has been based. Finds in the garden from archaeological excavations will be on display such as a terracotta garden vase dating from the seventeenth century and a brass plaque bearing the monogram of William & Mary. Other exhibits include the seventeenth century water pipes that were important for providing the fresh water needed to keep the numerous fountains playing.
‘Flower Palace Het Loo, laying out & digging over the garden’ can be seen until 1st of May 2016 in the East Wing of Paleis Het Loo, open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The gardens are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.