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Fit for a King: Restored Palais Het Lo Opens Its Doors

Historic palace on top of the new addition Image: KAAN Architecturen

Diana, the goddess of the hunt, stands above the door, beckoning visitors.but newly restored Palais Het Lo – Built as 17 hunting lodges.th Century Dutch ruler William of Orange – there’s a surprise awaiting.

This month, a €171 million five-year renovation will begin, creating 5,000 m2 of modern museum space.

However, unlike previous builds, this extension designed by KAAN Architecten’s Dikkie Scipio has gone underground. Underneath that seemingly pristine, 17th Following the Courtyard of the Century, the museum dug 10 meters underground, pumping out 35,000 m3 of water and 1,800 trucks of sand, all the while suspending the historic palace on a temporary foundation.

Today, the entrance to the Palais Van Loo is through a spacious grand foyer of marble-like Spanish Bianco Machael stone, with temporary exhibition spaces on one side, On the other side are historical tours like Orange Whirlwind.

“To lift a palace, this has never been done before!” says marketing manager Jacolien van Wezep. “It doesn’t look like anything has changed, but if you go underground, you’ll see this whole modern piece. 17 Fundamentalsth The 100-year-old four-part building is now a few millimeters taller.

building project timelapse

Meanwhile, in the historic palace, about 4,300 square meters of asbestos refractories added in the 1970s have been removed and the palace has been completely restored to its original era. original resident Dutch stud holder William III and his wife Mary – became King and Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1689.

“It was built before he became King of England,” explains Managing Director Michel van Marsveen. “He commissioned a French institute to plan the palace. It was enlarged after it became his favorite palace, and in fact the only one he built himself here in the Netherlands.

Granted to the state and open to the public since 1984, the palace required extensive work to remove the asbestos and restore rooms, but more space for around 350,000 visitors a year. was also needed. The gardens, including the orangery with its 200 citrus trees, were also completely destroyed by the great rival of the Protestant William III, the French Catholic Louis his XIV, when he was aiming to outdo them. regained its glory.

Gardens at Palais Het Lo Image: Palais Het Lo

Special exhibitions in the new building, masterpiece, now tells the story of an extraordinary renovation. A floor-mounted screen displays a time-lapse video of the process thanks to photographs taken daily from the other side of the main courtyard.

In an adjoining room, three artists were invited to create a response to the palace. Linda Nieustad’s artwork Orange Blossom created from mixed fabrics, a composition inspired by English baroque composer Henry Purcell by Massive Music, a perfume developed by Sebastian Fischenich. staff. “It smells naturally of water, metal, woody notes, and oranges and flowers,” says show creator Marit Berens, and since it was the fourth perfume they’ve tried, they’ve been unofficial about it. is called “Palace No. 4.”

The other side of the new Grand Foyer provides an overview of the Dutch monarchy before it became a monarchy. Over the years, the exhibition shows that there has been criticism, controversy, and admiration. Exhibits following the east wing of the palace detail key moments in the lives of these oranges.


“We wanted to give an overview of the Dutch monarchy,” said Van Maaseveen. “Whatever a monarch does in his private life, it is always in the public eye. When he is born, when he goes on vacation in Greece, when he buys a new ship, when he dies, when he gets married, everything is It’s public and we all have opinions.

“For example, there was a great deal of debate about a king going to Greece during the coronavirus era. During the 1980s, when Queen Beatrix was on the throne, there were many riots in Amsterdam. William V at the end of the 18th centuryth The century was heavily criticized by patriots for wanting to give ordinary people more power.

For example, one exhibit provokes ongoing debate as to whether the current king, Willem-Alexander, should open the nearby royal palace to the public around his typical half-day of hunting each year.

A ‘Junior Palace’ for children opens in May. Based on a kind of treasure hunt in an imaginary palace, the original Palais Het Lou historic apartments have been completely renovated. Rouille carpet made to blend into the floor.

Hunting trophies in restored palace apartments Photo: S Boztas


In keeping with the realities of hunting past, the museum has decided to continue displaying objects such as labeled antlers, elephant trunk lampshades, bear fur rugs and coal scuttles on elephant feet, said the curator. member Christine Deisters said. The former Queen Juliana’s original height markings are still on the wall.

According to van Maarsevenen, the palace is a vivid reminder of the historical ties between Holland and England after William appeared in England with the printing press to campaign against the Protestant takeover. ‘Maximum link was 17th The century when William III united England, Scotland and Ireland with the Dutch Republic,” he said. “With Louis XIV, he was the most powerful person in Europe. He combined the two nations within himself. His bonds were split in 1702 when he died.

In the restored palace, William of Orange’s rivalry with the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV comes alive in the battle of the tallest fountains. “Here we have fresh water all around, but at Versailles we had to pump water for the fountains. It smelled really bad,” he said. “In our fountain he rose 13 meters, but in the Versailles fountain he rose only 11 meters.”

But light touches aside, the museum hopes the new exhibits and restorations will keep the story of royalty alive. ,” said Van Marseven. “As we speak, it relates to the world around us. Visitors decide for themselves.”

Palais Het Lo Open to the public from April 22nd

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/04/fit-for-a-king-restored-palais-het-loo-opens-its-doors/ Fit for a King: Restored Palais Het Lo Opens Its Doors

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