Situated in the foreland of the river Rhine, on the outskirts of Utrecht, you will find Amerongen Castle. For centuries this property was the stage on which the turbulent lives of the nobility were played out; nowadays the beautifully-restored castle houses a museum.
The history of the grand Amerongen Castle (also known as ‘het Huys’, or ‘the House’) dates back to 1286, though in the centuries that followed, the castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times. The current castle dates from 1680, after its precursor was burned down by French troops in 1673.
It is built in the Dutch Classicist style, and was inhabited by the families of diplomats and members of the military that played an important role in national and international politics. Each generation has left its own mark on the place.
The final resident of Amerongen Castle was the last German Emperor: after World War I, Wilhelm II fled to the Netherlands and briefly stayed here.
In 1977, the castle, the furnishings and all the fixtures and fittings, and the garden were sold, and in the years that followed the castle was converted into a museum. Some of the highlights include the library, the famous 17th-century cabinets by Dutch cabinet maker Jan van Mekeren, and the so-called Wijts collection (which consists of 24 portraits of family members and fellow officers of Jacques Wijts, a lieutenant colonel and strategist in Prince Maurits of Orange’s army). The castle also houses one of the three music libraries in the Netherlands established by noble families.
The vast garden also forms part of Castle Amerongen. Following the reconstruction of the castle, the garden was divided into different sections, and between 1887 and 1924 assumed its current design. The garden reflects four centuries of history, incorporating influences from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque era as well as the English landscape garden style. It is possible to go on a separate guided tour of the garden. The tour starts with a lecture. In the company of a guide you will learn all about the garden and its history.