Soestdijk Palace

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Soestdijk Palace
Paleis Soestdijk
Palace Soestdijk.jpg
A front view of the palace in 2004
Former names de Hofstede aen Zoestdijck
General information
Type Buitenplaats
Architectural style Neoclassical
Address Amsterdamsestraatweg 1
Town or city Baarn
Country Netherlands
Coordinates 52°11′36″N 5°16′46″E / 52.193333°N 5.279444°E / 52.193333; 5.279444
Construction started 1650
Renovated 1674-1678
1806
1808
1815
1897
1936-1937
1970
Client Cornelis de Graeff
Owner Kingdom of the Netherlands
Technical details
Floor count 3
Lifts/elevators 2
Design and construction
Architect Maurits Post
Designations Rijksmonument
Other information
Number of rooms 170

Soestdijk Palace is a former palace of the Dutch Royal Family. It consists of a central block and two wings.

Although named after the village of Soestdijk, which is largely in the municipality of Soest, the Soestdijk Palace is just north of the border in the municipality of Baarn in the province of Utrecht. It was the home for over six decades of the late Queen Juliana and her husband, the late Prince Bernhard until their deaths in 2004.

Monumentenbordje 2014.svg Dutch Rijksmonument 34110

History[edit]

In the middle of the seventeenth century the Country house on the Zoestdijk was built for Cornelis de Graeff. After the rampjaar his son Jacob de Graeff sold it to Stadhouder William III. Then the palace originally started as a hunting lodge that was built between 1674 and 1678 by Maurits Post, who was also involved in building two other royal palaces, Huis ten Bosch Palace and Noordeinde Palace. William left the Netherlands in 1688 to reside in London as William III of England.

During the French invasion in 1795, the palace was seized as a spoil of war and turned into an inn for French troops. When Louis Bonaparte became King of Holland, he took possession of it and had it extended and refurnished.

Statue of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard in the palace garden

It was presented to William II of the Netherlands in 1815 in recognition of his services at the Battle of Waterloo. From 1816 to 1821, the palace was significantly expanded by adding two wings, the northern or Baarn wing, and the southern or Soest wing. In 1842 its contents were enriched by the addition of the neoclassical furnishings of his former palace in Brussels, today the Palais des Académies.

Soestdijk became the property of the State of the Netherlands in 1971, though it was used by Princess Juliana (Queen of the Netherlands from 1948–1980) and Prince Bernhard as their official residence until both of their deaths in 2004. Soestdijk Palace then remained empty and unused for over a year before its opening to the public. Since spring 2006, it has been possible to visit, pending a decision about its future use.

External links[edit]

Media related to Soestdijk Palace at Wikimedia Commons