Whit Monday (the Monday after Pentecost) is a legal holiday in many European Countries. In the Netherlands it is since 2008 also the “Dag van het Kasteel” (Day of the Castle). Many castles and country seats, gardens and ruins are open. Since 2016 also some Belgian and German castles take part. Many of them are open regularly, others are only open occasionally. It is always good to look up for information beforehand tough, as sometimes the tickets for example for tours are limited.
The weather this year was rather nice. On 10 June I took the bus to Leek, The Netherlands, for my first visit to Museum Nienoord for the first time in many years. It is actually one of the castles closest to my home, and I could start my journey right in front of my house and go straight to Leek. Whereas there was a very busy market and fair in the village itself, just metres away the road led to a much quieter Nienoord. It wasn’t as busy as it could have been tough.
The extra entertainment here came from the local storytellers of the Vertellerscollectief Kom op Verhoal and the artists of the Vrijstatig Volkje and apparently also dancers of the Dansschool Dansida. At 11am the day was officially opened by Anna and Georg, or rather two people playing Anna van Ewsum and her husband Georg Wilhelm von Inn- und Kniphausen, who a long, long time ago lived at the Castle. Lots of dancing and music, and yes, I also danced along a few times. Inside and outside the museum people were telling stories.
I also enjoyed a small historical market with biological food, and a typical Dutch sport called “ringsteken”. Seated on a horse or in a carriage competitors are trying to put a spear through a rather tiny ring on the side. The Friesian version was shown just outside the castle, and especially the two ladies of the jury in costume were worth a look.