House of Wassenaer

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Van Wassenaer is the name of an old Dutch noble family. It was first mentioned in the county of Holland on November 3, 1200. They are one of the few original noble families from Holland that has not died out.

Origin of the name[edit]

According to family legend, the name may be taken from the crescent (wassende) moon on the family coat of arms, borrowed from an Arabian banner that a member of the van Wassenaer family obtained while on a crusade. The lands of the House of Wassenaer include, among others, the town of Wassenaar and the Kasteel Duivenvoorde near Voorschoten. According to some family archives, Wassenaar means Wasser Herren, Sea Lords/Kings, which is a traditional immemorial title which the invading Romans (under Caligula) recognised while they were destituting the family from their also immemorial position of Kings of Batavia (position regained 400 years later for four centuries etc.) the crescent was named "Wassenaar" after the family name, and seems to correspond to the southern Crusades time while other brothers took their arms from the northern Crusades in the Baltic (Hermann's Anker cross adopted by the Paets/Paats).

History of the family[edit]

The family van Wassenaar initially also appeared under the name Duivenvoorde, after the castle that the family owned during much of the late Middle Ages. The earliest ancestor is one Philip of Wassenaer, who lived in the early 13th century, and owned lands in Wassenaar. Members of the family carry the title of count or baron, which they received in the 19th century.

Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer-Obdam as painted by George de Marees

Famous scions of the House of Wassenaer[edit]

and viscount of Leiden.


  • J.C. Kort and R.C. Hol: Wassenaer, de oudste: Het archief van de familie Van Wassenaer van Duvenvoorde in Hollands archiefperspectief. Inventaris van het archief van de familie Van Wassenaer van Duvenvoorde, 1266-1996, Verloren b.v., Hilversum, 2002.

See also[edit]

  • Wassenaar, a municipality in South Holland.

External links[edit]