We gingen naar het Keukenhof.

Het was onze eerste keer en het was leuk!

This was last week sometime. The boyfriend and I went for a 50 km cycle on our rusty little city bikes and ended up spending some time in the Keukenhof. It was beautiful, and we saw lots of these!

I don’t think any of the photographs I took did it any justice.

The Keukenhof is the largest flower garden in Europe, and it is situated in Lisse, Netherlands. A whopping 79 - negenenzeventig - acres of land is covered in approximately seven million flowers of many different types - including tulips tulpen of course! The park is open every year from mid-March to mid-May, and I was told that the best time to view the tulips is mid-April (which is exactly what we did!).

What’s really interesting about the Keukenhof grounds is that they were originally part of a 15th century hunting ground. It was a source of herbs for the kitchen of a castle, which actually was the origin of the park’s name; keuken - kitchen, hof - courtyard/garden. The castle was inhabited by  Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut, the last Wittelsbach ruler of Hainaut and Holland. Wittelsbach is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Bavaria. Following her death in 1433, rich merchants took over the grounds and VOC (Dutch East India Company) captain and governor Adriaen Maertensz Block spent his retirement years in the country house (at this point known as Castle Keukenhof) in the 17th century.

In the 19th century, the garden was landscaped and re-designed around the castle by architect Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, who also designed the Vondelpark in Amsterdam. In 1949, the grounds was established as a garden and aimed to promote a flower exhibit where growers from all over the Netherlands and Europe could show off their hybrid creations.

Long tulip fields

Contrary to popular beliefs, the Keukenhof itself does not contain the long fields of tulips, but features a variety of different gardens and garden styles. It also has numerous water features, exhibitions and even a windmill that you can go inside to look around!

Now, if you’re wanting this

…or this

… these are likely to be private land of tulip farmers and such.

I highly recommend grabbing your bicycle (or renting one!) and just cycling in and around the Lisse area between the March and June time. You will see miles and miles of colours, and it’s really breathtaking to see. We were pretty lucky as it was the first consistently sunny day we’d had for quite a while!

Dus, als je tulpen en bloemen wilt vinden… dan moet je dit doen!