‘Paleis Het Loo’ was built in 1686 by Stadtholder William III and used for almost 300 years as a (summer) palace by members of our Royal family. Queen Wilhelmina lived here till the year of 1972. After a huge restoration palace and gardens are back in their original state. Since 1984 ‘Paleis Het Loo’ is a national museum and open for public.
Roughly there are four parts of the museum, which can be visited:
- Just behind the ticket booth are the Stables and Coach Houses with (royal) carriages and old cars. In one part of the building is a yearly changing exposition. There is also a Grand Café 'Prins Hendrik Garage'.
TIP: this part of the palace can be visited free of charge !
- Two wings of the palace: the East Wing with an art collection and the Museum of the Chancery of the Netherlands Orders of Knighthood and an art collection (open from 13.00 hours). The West Wing always offers temporary exhibitions.
- The main building with lots of rooms to visit (guided, audiotour or unguided). Rooms are decorated with original furniture, china, portraits, court-dresses and so on. They display the lives of the members of the House of Orange-Nassau, especially the members of the Dutch royal family who lived in the palace. In the main building is another café and the museum shop with unique ‘royal’ gifts.
- The gardens; here you will understand why ‘Paleis Het Loo’ is called ‘Versailles of the North’.
Be aware you will have to do a lot of walking when visiting the palace. From the car park through the palace to the end of the Upper Garden will be a couple of km’s !!
- "Winterpaleis": with "Christmas at the Palace Het Loo", an ice rink and some special evening openinghours (see for more info website: 'Tentoonstellingen, nieuws en evenementen').
- A Royal View over the gardens: the roof of the palace is open for public on Easter, Queensday, Whit Sunday and Monday and on Wednesday’s in June, July and August;
- Monthly concert: every last Friday in the Ballroom of the palace (see for more information www.paleisconcerten.nl).
Openinghours and admission: see website (Dutch, English, French and German).
If you have some spare time also visit the three nearby monuments: The Man with Two Hats (Canadian Liberation Monument), Queen's Day Attack Monument and 'De Naald'.
Apenheul is a specialized zoo on the outskirts of the Dutch city of Apeldoorn. The garden is located in the Mountain & Forest Nature Park (200 ha). In Apenheul monkeys from Africa, South America and Asia. The animals live quite freely: Mesh or bars it almost looks like some species just walk among the visitors around. Others, such as gorillas, bonobos and orangutans live on large islands. And can be studied very well in their natural behavior.
In the winter months Apenheul closed to the public.
It was already a long time ago since my last visit to the Apenheul, the primate park in Apeldoorn. I really have to admit that there have been a lot of changes within the park and I almost did not recognise it. The setting in the middle of the woods of ‘Park Berg en Bos’ is amazing with bamboo bushes, lots of flowers and everywhere small streams and ponds. Sometimes I felt walking in the ‘rain forest’ (perhaps because it rained cats and dogs during the day of my visit).
Absolutely highlight of the Apenheul is the fact that many of the monkeys are allowed to mingle with the visitors. And it is so fascinating seeing them running, playing, fighting, eating so close to you.
Specially the feedings are worth visiting (at the entrance of the ‘zoo’ you get a leaflet with a schedule of these feedings). Other groups are living on large islands surrounded by water.
There are almost 30 species of primates in Apenheul among them gorilla’s, urang utan's, barbary macaques, sifakas, gibbons, bonobos and squirrel monkeys.
But the ‘Apenheul’ offers more: as well other animals as playgrounds for the kids. There are also two restaurants and a gift shop.
Opening hours: Apenheul is open from the end of March till the end of October, daily from 10 am till 5 pm (July and August till 6 pm). See for exact dates their website
Entrance fee (2013): adults € 19,50 / children 3 – 12 years €17,50
Parking fee (2013): day card € 6,60
Bussloo is a huge artificial lake (more than 100 hectare), which came into being during the construction of the nearby motorway A1. It is situated between the cities of Apeldoorn, Deventer and Zutphen.
Specially on warm and hot days a lot of inhabitants of these cities are looking for cooling on the beaches of Bussloo. Some days there are more than 10.000 visitors !! It is a really good place for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, diving, walking and biking.
Along the borders are six beaches (even a beach for naturists), food and drink kiosks, play grounds for children and volleyball fields.
One of the kiosks/restaurants offers nowadays ‘18 holes Pitch&Putt Golf’ (http://www.pitch-putt.nl/index_banen.asp?baan_id=19). And specially for the kids there is a so called ‘minihaven’; a harbour with real small boats, which can be sailed by the children itself (http://www.minihaven.nl).
There is NO entrance fee, you just have to pay for the compulsory car parks (2013: high season € 5,00 per day). Bussloo is easy accessible by car (10 minutes from Apeldoorn) and bike (30 minutes from Apeldoorn).
The Beekbergerwoud was home to the last primary forest of the Netherlands, which was cut down in 1871. It was a swampy forest, growing on peat land. When the forest was cleared, the trees chopped down and burned, the peat largely removed and the soil evened out. This treatment, together with intensive agriculture, has severely damaged the natural soil, but a large part of the original seeds is still present in the deeper soil layers.
The area was donated to ‘Natuurmonumenten’ (a Dutch society for preservation of nature monuments in the Netherlands) and they started planning the restoration of the Beekbergerwoud in 1990 and nowadays an area of approximately 70 hectares has been restored and will be left to regenerate on its own.
Nowadays the 'new' Beekbergerwoud can be visited (for free). There is a loop walk of about 2,5 km’s, starting at a small parking lot. In the meantime I did this walk a couple of times and every time I return the nature has changed a little bit, which is also the intention of ‘Natuurmonumenten’. Trees become higher and there are more bushes and shrubs.
Personally I like the part with the boardwalks most; walking over crystal clear water and enjoying water life. These pools are attractive for birds as well. About halfway the loop is a kind of watchtower, which allows views over the new Dutch nature. The sandy path is crossing reed- and woodland. In a fenced part of the area are cows grazing, but I have to admit I never saw them till yet (only cow pats on the path); perhaps they hide themselves in the bushes.
(Board)walking around I still can not imagine how the former primeval forest did look like, but this piece of new nature is quite impressive and interesting. At least the landscape is completely different from others on the Veluwe and the Netherlands. Beekbergerwoud is a truly unique nature reserve.
Especially after some rainy days the footpath can be very wet and muddy; during one of my visits (end October) I even could finish the loop and had to return. I you want to do the whole loop better wear boots or otherwise do the loop walk anti-clockwise, which means you will have to go straight forward after the first iron gate. You will be able to do the boardwalks and the watchtower.
The 'Aardhuis' is part of the so called 'Kroondomein Het Loo'; the forest on the Veluwe, which once belonged to the Palace Het Loo.
It did get its name from the 'Aardmansberg', almost the highest elevation on the Veluwe with 102 metres. The chalet was built by King William III in the year of 1861. Prince Hendrik (husband of Queen Wilhelmina) used it as a hunting lodge. Parts of the building are still the same as in that old days. Specially the hunting room is full of historic furniture, paintings and antlers.
Nowadays the building is a (small) museum with a lot of information about the wildlife of the Veluwe. Each year there are also a couple special expositions wit a nature theme. There is also information about charcoal, which once was produced on the Veluwe.
At the building starts a signposted walk along a huge meadow, through a forest, which allows you to see different kind of (red) deer and wild boars. The walk does take about one hour.
You can have a drink or coffee and there is also a giftshop in the wooden chalet and a nice shaded terrace
Open everyday (10.00 am - 5.00 pm) from the end of March till the end of October.
Admission (2013): adults € 5,-, children and 65+ € 3,-
See also website "Praktische Informatie".
In the city parks of Apeldoorn are a lot of interesting monuments and memorials.
- A stone bench as a reminder of H.C. van Oordt the founder of our oldest park; the bench has been placed there in 1892.
- The official War Memorial
- In 1933 a tree was planted just opposite the school - Koninklijke Hoogere Burgerschool Prins Hendrik der Nederlanden, dating back to 1877 - as a reminder of the birth of Prince William of Orange in 1533; the tree is surrounded by an iron fench with the both dates and symbols of the House of Orange.
- Another monumental bench as a tribute to one of our mayors: H.P.J. Tutein Nolthenius; it was unveiled March 9 in the year of 1932. In former days this mayor lived just opposite the bench at Wilhelminapark number 7.
Close to Prinsenpark:
- An oak planted on January 7 in the year of 1937on the occasion of the marriage between Princess Juliana and Prins Bernhard. Around the tree there are six stones connected with iron tubes; on these stones are the first letters J and B and those of their four daughters.
- Memorial Het Apeldoornsche Bosch commemorates the deportation of about 1.300 people - patients and staff - of the Jewish psychiatric institution "Het Apeldoornsche Bosch" to Auschwitz/Birkenau.
- Just before the bridge is another memorial bench, this one is for Mister M. van Wijhe, one of the city councillors. The bench was unveiled in 1934. There is a wonderful view over the pond from this bench.
- May 2010 Mayor De Graaf of Apeldoorn unveiled a monument in honour of fourteen resistance fighters, who were active in Apeldoorn during WWII and engaged in sabotage, attacks and forgery of documents. Some of them were arrested and executed, others died in German camps. The names of these fighters are engraved in fourteen nature stones; a simple but impressive monument. In June 2011 three more names - and stones - were added and now there are seventeen stones in this monument.
See also tip:
A walk through our city parks
A great way to explore one of the finest parts of my hometown is to make a walk through five city parks.
You can start in the centre of town at the back of the white town hall, where you will have to take the 'Kerklaan'. After a couple of hundred metres you will reach the 'Oranjepark' (extra picture 1). This is the oldest park in town, opened in 1876 in the presence of King William III. Cross the bridge and pass our local war memorial and a large bench.
Cross the street (Regentesselaan) and walk through the smallest park we do have in Apeldoorn: 'Prins Hendrikplein' (extra picture 2). It is a gift to the council, provided that it always has to remain a public park. Have a look at the tree, which was planted in 1933 as a reminder of the birth of Prince William of Orange in 1533. The tree is surrounded by an iron fence with the both dates and symbols of the House of Orange.
In front of the school - Koninklijke Hoogere Burgerschool Prins Hendrik der Nederlanden - 1877 - turn right and immediately turn left into the 'Oranjelaan'.
After 100 meters you will reach the 'Wilhelminapark' (extra picture 3), named after one of our queens. Take the small bridge (on your left hand another monumental bench) and turn right at the first path. At the end (on the other side of the road) you have to follow the wooden fence to the left. Enjoy the view of the 'Verzetstrijderspark' with villa 'Marialust'.
At the end of the fench cross the road and follow the 'Van Haersma de Withlaan', on your right hand side is the 'Prinsenpark' (extra picture 4). Again with a lovely pond. Cross the bridge and turn right to another war monument 'Monument Het Apeldoornsche Bosch'. On the road you have to turn right.
On the crossing go straight on and you enter the last of the five parks: 'Verzetstrijderspark' (main picture). Most remarkable is the impressive white building of the villa 'Marialust'. It has been built in 1825 and is the only remaining rural estate from the 19th century. On this side of the town of Apeldoorn were three of these estates and two of them were sold and subdivided from the year 1875. Nowadays the so called 'Parkenbuurt' is a highly appreciated residential area with lots of beautiful houses.
Here ends your walk, you can turn back to town along the 'Wilhelminapark' or stroll through the streets of this area and find your way back to the city centre.
See also my tip: Monuments in the parks of Apeldoorn.
Close to Apeldoorn you will find the 'main' station Beekbergen of the so called 'Veluwsche Stoomtrein Maatschappij'.
This organisation of volunteers does have a big depot with a museum, a restored station building, a new platform, a huge hall for maintenance of the several steam locs and lots of other 'steamy' stuff.
For their (steam)train rides they use the 100 year old railway between Apeldoorn and Dieren. Most of the rides take place during summer and some school holidays. But there are also rides on other days, even in the winter.
Check the complete schedule on their website.
A very special journey is the combination between a ride with the steamtrain from Apeldoorn to Dieren, a boat trip from Dieren to Zutphen over the river IJssel and back to Apeldoorn with a regular train.
The steam locs often leave from a special platform nearby the regular railway station of Apeldoorn.
C(ultuur) O(nder) D(ak) A(peldoorn) is an unique museum with a mixture of old and new.
CODA matches the former Historical Museum and the Van Reekum Museum for modern art, the Public Library of the town and the local archives.
CODA is situated close to the centre of town in a brand new building. Take a look at their website for the current exhibitions.
CODA has a small gift shop (also free accessible for non-museum visitors) with some interesting and unique gifts and a lot of books of Apeldoorn's history. CODA Cafe offers adrink or snack and the nearby reading room invites you to read a paper or magazine for free.
For opening hours: see website.
The Veluwe has a new network of bike tracks. It is possible to create your 'own' biketour with assistance of the so called 'knooppuntroutes' (Numbered Intersections), a rather new system; now existing in many areas in the Netherlands. And you can decide how many km's you want to do on your 'own' tour.
Everywhere on the Veluwe and also in the city of Apeldoorn are so called 'intersections' with a number. For instance on the picture: number 61. Here you decide to which intersection you want to bike next and just have to follow the numbered signs to the intersection you have chosen. At last you can return to the point where your started your bike tour.
The VVV and ANWB-offices do have a map of these new numbered network of bike paths on the Veluwe. On the internet you may find an interactive map, which make it possible to create your biketrip at home/hotel.
Plan your bike ride: http://www.fietsersbond.nl/fietsersbond-routeplanner
For rental bikes see my transportation tip.
Palace Het Loo is a former Royal Palace, now National Museum, located on the outskirts of the city of Apeldoorn Het Loo in the same district. Het Loo Palace is owned by the State (RGD) and ranks among the Top 100 of the Dutch UNESCO monuments.
If you like art you should check out 'En Passant'. It's a great new galery with beautiful art from artists with different styles. And it's not as expensive as other galeries. But you can also go there just to have a look, or to join for one of the workshops.
And then I didn't even tell you about the beautiful garden with statues yet!
I thoroughly enjoyed my vist to the Palais Het Loo in Apeldoorn. The way the rooms were decorated with original furniture, costumes and everyday items that were in use then, I could almost picture what it was like to live in those times. I remember thinking that someone must have had a full time job just lighting the numerous fireplaces located in every room. Palais Het Loo is entirely open to the public, Tuesday to Sunday from 10a.m. to 5p.m.
Although compact Apeldoorn is built spaciously with wide pedestrian streets and plenty of green spaces. There are several public parks dotted around the centre and on a bright early-summer lunchtime these are a delight just to wander randomly to see what you find.
Here's the Oranjeparc with its fountain and bandstand which seems to a popular lunchspot for those working locally. This is where the georgously-dressed lady in black and white with a full skirt and ruffled white blouse passed me on her bicycle but I was too slow with the camera to get a pic.
Never mind, maybe I'll revisit and lay in ambush for her. Nice park though and whilst not as classy as my black and white lady pic #2 is representative of my visit's other highlights ;)
Link below is one of the local VT member's, vtveen, tip which gives a better overview.