In the province of Utrecht there is a little town called Doorn. In this town, there is an extraordinary castle named ‘House Doorn’. My boyfriend grew up in this area and I had never been there. On one of the first autumn days this year he decided to show me around the Doorn estate.
House Doorn started its life in 838 as a water borough. In the 14th century, it was demolished and only in 1350, the rebuilding of the house started. It was in 1536 when the house was declared an official castle.
One of the most intriguing asylum seekers in the Netherlands used to live in this castle. Emperor Wilhelm the second of Germany had to flee Germany in 1918 after WWI. At first he lived in Amerongen, another castle, but in 1919 he moved to House Doorn where he lived until his death. Wilhelm did want to go back to Germany, but because of the precarious situation there politically and WWII, he was never able to return. In 1941, he died at House Doorn and as he requested, he was buried in the Mausoleum of House Doorn. His death in the Netherlands and the fact that he had no offspring are the reasons why the German royal family is non-existent today.
In 1796, an English garden was constructed around the house. That part of the castle is so great to walk through with your lover! There are great green fields and a lot of beautiful sculptures. From eagles (the national animal of Germans) to the Little Mermaid. These sculptures are great for those of us who think with a camera instead of a brain!
My favorite sculpture in the garden is one of a horse and carriage. It’s a bit of a strange one since it’s not really a traditional sculpture. The horse is made of trees that were forced into a certain shape as they were growing. It’s a marvelous sculpture nonetheless and I must have stood there for 30 minutes staring at it.