"A Day at De Haar"
Colored pencils on black Stonehenge paper
8"h x 4"w approx.
August 2012 ~ Utrecht, Netherlands
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong. all rights reserved.
Kasteel de Haar (De Haar Castle) which is located in the village of Haarzuillens, in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands, is a "fairy-tale like" castle that can trace its roots back to the 12th century, but the current structure was built in the 19th century. Commissioned by Baron van Zuylen van Nyevelt (who married into one of Europe's wealthiest families: Rothschild), the castle was designed by the famous 19th century, Dutch, architect: Pierre Cuypers. Cuypers also designed some of the Netherlands' most noted landmarks, i.e., Amsterdam's Central Train Station and the Rijksmuseum (also located in Amsterdam).
With its moats (complete with swans), drawbridges, gargoyles and towers, Kasteel de Haar is truly delightful. Many couples have their wedding pictures taken on the grounds, with, of course, the castle as a backdrop. If you've never been to Kasteel de Haar, taking a guided tour of the castle is highly recommended as the guides will tell you fascinating stories about the origins of the castle, interesting anecdotes about the van Zuylen/Rothschild family and offer an intriguing look into "aristocratic life" in the Netherlands during the 19th century.
While the castle is now owned by a Dutch National Trust, the current heirs of the van Zuylen-Nyvelt family do reside in a part of the castle during the month of September - during that month, the castle is closed to visitors. However, the interior of the castle is absolutely gorgeous and really shouldn't be missed! I particularly like the music room with its magnificent, genuine, parquet floor and walls that are covered in rich tapestries. Another of my favorite rooms is the kitchen with its massive 19th century cooker and a very impressive collection of copper cooking pans.
If you've taken the interior castle tour before, or would rather not do that tour, a stroll around the extensive grounds is another option. With its centuries-old trees, lakes, gorgeous flower beds, rose garden, manicured hedges and statues, the castle's gardens and grounds are a visual treat anytime of the year - even in the winter!
My drawing above is of one of the many lovely sculptures found in the gardens surrounding the castle, with a view towards one of the castle towers - the figure is holding a mass of grapes on its head. :o)
For this drawing I used:
Prismacolors - reg. colored pencils
Faber-Castell Polychromos - reg. colored pencils
Lyra Rembrandt - reg. colored pencils
Black Stonehenge Paper
This drawing is part of a series of drawings I'm doing of this castle's grounds & buildings.
Here's another drawing (on black paper) of a stone sculpture, from Kasteel de Haar, that I did in 2011: Stoneface at Kasteel de Haar
Link to the website for the castle : Kasteel de Haar (english version)