Tomorrow, Monday 5 June 2017, it is the “Dag van het Kasteel” (Day of the Castle) in the Netherlands. 120 Castles all over the country are participating, organize extra events or exceptionally open their doors. Unfortunately in the Province of Groningen only six castles are open. Nice extra events are being held, but they’re open regularly anyway, so I think it is a bit disappointing, especially as Groningen is one of the two provinces the day focusses on this year. I might go and visit one tomorrow anyway.
However I already did somewhat of a castle tour yesterday. I took the train to Goor and from there the bus to Warmelo Castle in Diepenheim, where the mother of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands – Princess Armgard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld – spent the last 20 years of her life. Unfortunately you can’t go inside, but the castle is lovely anyway and the garden looks great at this time of the year. At the moment there are sand sculptures in the garden and there is also a mini-exhibition about Princess Armgard.
But Diepenheim has more to offer (I didn’t even see all castles/estates there yet). There is also a really wonderful Oranjemuseum on the other side of Diepenheim. Lots of memorabilia from the Dutch royal family, especially porcelain, is on display in a huge shed. You can even have some tea or coffee with cake, and if they have time, the owners and people helping out in the museum can tell you all about the collection.
Unfortunately the distance between the castle and the museum is about three kilometres. And there is no bus passing. I managed to find the quickest way, just walked and enjoyed the nature. I however also had to go back. Luckily a lovely lady helping out in the museum had to go back to Goor anyway at the end of the afternoon. She was even crazy enough to show me the nearest castles House Nijenhuis and the Weldam Estate, which I had hoped to see too. You can’t enter the gates, so I was already happy with a look from the outside. Weldam’s garden however is often open during weekdays. Both houses are private residences. Nijenhuis is owned by the noble Schimmelpenninck family, Weldam by Alfred count zu Solms-Sonnenwalde. I’ll write more about the properties I saw at a later date.
I know one thing for sure. Next time I visit the area I should simply rent a bike and go cycling. Much easier and quicker than take the bus and go walking. Not that I am much of a cyclist, although my parents easily cover 40 kilometres a day. However there are lots and lots of castles and estates in the area left that I haven’t seen yet.