Thursday, May 30, 2024

Of flowers, architecture and windmills in Netherlands

Netherlands is truly a country for artists and their art be it horticulture or architecture as evidenced by the Tulip festival in Keukenhof and quirky architecture in Zandaam and the open air museum of the historic windmills in Zaanse Schans.

Our first visit was to Keukenhof to revel in the floral fantasy of not only tulips but so many other flowers like hyacinth, daffodils and amaryllis.

The history of Keukenhof dates back to the 15th century. Countess Jacoba van Beieren [Jacqueline of Bavaria] (1401-1436) used 'Keukenduyn' [kitchen dunes] as hunting ground for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle. Keukenhof Castle was built in 1641 and the estate grew to encompass an area of over 200 hectares.

Landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, who also designed Amsterdam's Vondelpark, redesigned the castle gardens in 1857. That park, in the English landscape style, still constitutes the basis of Keukenhof.

In 1949 a group of 20 leading flower bulb growers and exporters came up with the plan to use the estate to exhibit spring-flowering bulbs, signaling the birth of Keukenhof as a spring park. The park opened its gates to the public in 1950 and was an instant success, with 236,000 visitors in the first year alone. 2024 will be the 75th edition of Keukenhof. During the past 74 years Keukenhof developed into a world-famous attraction.

You can buy bulbs of tulip plants if you wish to and there are eateries where you can relax and re energize.

Check out the slide show of the beauties of Keukenhof.

Zaandam and Zanse Schans are neighbours, both close to Amsterdam. There are more tourists here than locals.

Zandaam is located on the river Zaan, just north of Amsterdam. It was an important shipbuilding centre in the 17th century. It is now famous for its quirky architecture. 

Zaanse Schans in the neighbourhood is an open air museum of Netherlands history of windmills and cheese.

There are beautiful walkways which take you to the different sight seeing spots in town. 

Windmills, houses, clog making workshops and of course cafes to fill your tummies.

No one in Netherlands seems to be in a hurry. Possibly because almost all commute by bicycle or take the public transport. They have made it very difficult to use cars by making parking very expensive and most of the streets are majorly cyclist friendly.


  1. Hari OM
    It is long years since I visited the Netherlands - but it has always stuck in my memory, for it is a place like no other! You got some excellent photographic memories here - and clearly enjoyed the hospitality! YAM xx

    1. Thank you Yamini ji. Yes it has a wonderful vibe!

  2. Amazing Netherlands, Great photos. Loved the post.

  3. The colors of some of those buildings!

  4. Wow..amazing pictures..thanks for sharing dear :-)
    The Art Diary

  5. This sounds like an amazing trip... Keukenhof must have been a riot of color - tulips and hyacinths ... The history behind the gardens is really interesting too.
    (My latest post: UK Tour 06 - Beamish Museum)

  6. I absolutely love the Netherlands, your images are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing! Hope you have an amazing rest of the summer!

    xoxo, Midori

    1. Thank you Midori. A pleasure to share!
      Best wishes!


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