PALEIS HET LOO – the Dutch Versailles

There was nothing those Dutch kings liked better than getting up in the morning and trimming a hedge.

The Dutch may be on average the tallest people on the planet, but most other things in the Netherlands are built in miniature.

Palace the Loo doesn’t have the same acreage as Versailles, where the Sun King had more room to spread himself, but it’s rather grand in its modest way.

I'm not sure what is going on in this sculpture - a marking contest in Aussie Rules football?

The name ‘the Loo’ is not a reference to a toilet, though it does have a few of these now. A Loo is a clearing in the forest, and Paleis het Loo was originally a hunting lodge, built in 1686 and purchased by William III as his summer holiday house.

Photography is prohibited inside the building, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s worth waiting in line and paying EUR12.50 to see the over-furnished, over-decorated interiors that royal people everywhere seem unable to live without.

We suspect most of those queueing had come to see the current temporary exhibition, Maxima – 10 Years in the Netherlands. The glamorous,relaxed and natural Crown Princess has been a big hit with the Dutch people since arriving from Argentina to marry heir to the throne Prince Willem Alexander.

A collection of her famous dresses was on display, along with photos and videos of Maxima chatting in a relaxed and natural way.

Paleis het Loo had arranged entertainment while we stood in line.

Paleis het Loo is no longer a real royal residence, and hunting lodges in general are frowned on in modern Nederland. Like us, the Dutch royals regard it as a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there. Unless you had someone else to do the vacuuming.

I do like this traditional Dutch architecture- small bricks, regular shapes, unfussy lines - everything very orderly.

Trimming the lawns must have been a real bore before the invention of the Whipper Snipper.


Paleis het Loo is in the town of Apeldoorn, a hour by train east of Amsterdam.

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Filed under Art, Holland

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