Dutch Houses | Kasteel Amerongen

I can now scratch Amerongen off my life’s to-do list.

To be honest, I’d never heard of Amerongen – which is a shame because despite being the size of a postage stamp, it had a lot to offer. 80 kilometers away from our flat, just past Utrecht, it was a place I could easily spend the whole afternoon in, enjoy the nature area around in and around it, spend a few hours admiring the local castle that served as a temporary home for an abdicating German kaiser, and end the day at a quaint, horse stable-turned-modern restaurant. Lots of history and interesting history at that, and in that enviably well-maintained Dutch manner. It wasn’t a surprise to me that the parking lot was close to packed and families with small children spending their intermittently sunny Sunday enjoying the surroundings. It was one of those places where gezellig, the Dutchest of Dutch concepts that roughly translates as ‘coziness’, is very much at home. We didn’t get to see what was inside the castle – which was more like a fair-sized mansion, really – as the tours were all sold out but the whole experience left me satisfied anyway.

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As for the German kaiser who once lived there, he only stayed a couple of years before moving on to much grander confines in Huis Doorn, 10 kilometers away. Can’t say I blame him. Any emperor worth his wardrobe would need more clothes space after all.

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