Kasteel de Haar – Christmas Market in Medieval Atmosphere

The largest castle in the Netherlands , situated close to Utrecht, is one of the most luxurious castles in Europe, home of many art objects and fascinating towers, suspension bridges and amazing gardens.


Short History

The first records of the castle date back to 1391, when it was owned by De Haar family. Later on, the castle was passed to the Van Zuylen family, in 1440.

The castle had a rough life, and was burned down and destroyed almost completely, only to be rebuilt in the 1500’s. The last major work done to this fascinating construction was done in 1887 though, restoration which lasted for 20 years, in which the interior and last ruins were brought back to life, by Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt and his wife.

With  200 rooms and 30 bathrooms, the castle is quite an impressive construction. However, a very small part of it is open to the public. Even so, the beauty of the few rooms available to tourists, makes it all worth it!

The Inside

kitchenThe tour starts with the beautiful kitchen, still in very good condition, with all he original kitchen gear on display. To my surprise, all the pots were made out of copper, as a symbol of status and power, regardless of how difficult this would make the cooking and cleaning process.

In a room with an enormous cooking surface, the temperature would be around 40 degrees, all year around, and the stove would always be on, because of the difficult process of restarting the fire. Passion for cooking at a whole new level!

The rooms are decorated with ornamented woodcarvings and finished with old porcelain from Asia, and very old tapestries and paintings. The atmosphere takes you right back to the beautiful times, in which the castle was at its moment of glory.


Gardens – The Christmas Market Central

You can’t have a castle without beautiful gardens. Kasteel de Haar is no exception from the rule, so the building is situated inside a miniature park, inspired by the French gardens of Versailles.

During the World War II, many of the gardens were lost as the trees were cut and the wood was use for fires, while the grounds were used to grow vegetables upon. At this time, the gardens are restored in their original design.

Even if the Netherlands is not big on Christmas Markets, one of the most beautiful markets are found right in the heart of De Haar gardens. From carolers, to Santa, to beautiful Christmas lights and traditional products, the market sure knows how to get you in the spirit of the winter holidays.

kasteel-de-haar-garden christmas market

The castle and its gardens are definitely worth seeing. If you add a Christmas market on top of this, Kasteel de Haar is a place you don’t want to miss!

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20 thoughts on “Kasteel de Haar – Christmas Market in Medieval Atmosphere

    • I agree! It’s been on my list ever since I moved here and I’m happy I finally managed to see it. I was so happy to see the Christmas market as well. It made it so much nicer to see 🙂
      I love the picture you clicked! Much sunnier than right now, that’s for sure haha
      Thank you for reading and for your comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You are right: what a kitchen!!! And what a castle. Thanks for taking me there. As to copper pots: I seem to remember that copper is the material cooks prefer for their pots and pans since it distributes the heat so evenly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, Pit! Thank you for joining in this journey through time! I had no idea cooks prefer the copper pots. Thank you for sharing that with me! From what the guide told us, they are very hard to keep shiny and nice, but they loved to do that anyway. I think the kitchen is very impressive, especially when the fire runs 24/7. I guess you always have to be ready for a midnight snack haha. Have a great day my friend!


    • It was quite a fascinating visit! I was looking forward to it for months. Only a small part of it is open to public. From what I know, it’s a museum, and nobody lives there. I wish I could see it all though! Thank you for reading and have a beautiful day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t be happier with that combination. I love castles and this time of the year. It was so funny to walk and see Santa all of a sudden, in the gardens haha 🙂 Thank you for reading, Amanda! Have a lovely day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to share your thoughts. It’s a very impressive building, that’s for sure. I really loved the inside. So elegant and alive. Have a beautiful evening!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much dear Johanna! I had no idea this one is your favorite. It’s my favorite as well. Absolutely amazing construction. Also, the gardens are lovely, especially now, with all the Christmas decorations 🙂 I’m happy I could take you on this beautiful virtual trip. Many hugs! xo

      Liked by 1 person

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