De Haar Castle

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Castle De Haar is located near Haarzuilens, in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands. The current buildings, all built upon the original castle, date from 1892 and are the work of Dutch architect P.J.H. Cuypers, in a Neo-Gothic restoration project funded by the Rothschild family.

Surrounding the castle there is a park, designed by Hendrik Copijn, for which Van Zuylen ordered 7000 fully grown trees. Because these could not be transported through the city of Utrecht, Van Zuylen bought a house and tore it down. The park contains many waterworks and a formal garden which reminds one of the French gardens of Versailles. During the Second World War many of the gardens were lost, because the wood was used to light fires, and the soil was used to grow vegetables upon. At this time, the gardens are restored in their old splendor.

For the decoration of the park, the village Haarzuilens, except for the town church, was broken down. The inhabitants were moved to a place a kilometer further up, where a new Haarzuilens arose, where they lived as tenants of the lord of the castle. This new village was also built in a pseudo-medieval style, including a rural village green. The buildings were for the most part designed by Cuypers and his son Joseph Cuypers. At this time (2004) the estate is partly owned by Natuurmonumenten.
The colors of the family Van Zuylen are red and white. The coat of arms consists of three red columns on a white field. The different branches of this family differ slightly on these colours. This coat of arms does not only live on in the colours of the castle, but also in nearly all of the houses of Haarzuilens, even in the newly constructed ones.
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