Kasteel de Schaffelaar

In the middle of the Netherlands (literally the Middelstepunt van) emerges a castle called Kasteel de Schaffelaar. It is a special building, built in the 1600s and destroyed the first time in 1585. It was rebuilt and again burned down in 1800, and returned in its current form in 1852.

It is designed in a neo-Tudor style, which means it is full of symmetrical ornaments, lots of lancets, pinnacles, gargoyles, intricate bricks, and clover windows. The arches are Tudor arches, with a gentler wide slope and oval emptiness. Every room and corner, even the bathrooms, are decorated to celebrate the history of this amazing castle. An orangery nearby recalls the national forest it sits within. It is so unique that the Schaffelaar is renowned as both the best preserved neo-Tudor style in the country, as well as a national monument. 

Its upkeep was a challenge, and in the 20th century it changed multiple owners and purposes. During World War II it was a reservation camp for 450 “socially important” Dutch Jews, later a municipality property, and student housing. Today it hosts events, especially weddings and conferences. Much of it is kept as close as possible to the original vision, and what makes it so amazing are the details in everything. Whenever I visit a building I always explore the bathrooms for windows, and this time, I was ecstatic at what I found.

Kasteel de Schaffelaar is part of a Landgoed, which means it sits on a nature reserve, right by the Hoge Veluwe National Park. Visiting the building means you can wander around the whole area on foot or by bike, and explore the forest and water nearby.

Kasteel de Schaffelaar
Barneveld map

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