Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Twickel Castle rises majestically out of the flat Dutch landscape near Delden, its grand Renaissance façade a rare architectural survivor of the 16th century. The 7,500-acre estate is remarkably complete for this day and age, with the black and white Twickel colors still proudly painted on the shutters of surrounding farm houses. The current house was completed in 1555 for Agnes van Twickelo and Gossen van Raesfelt, and expanded in the 1680s by Adriana Sophie van Raesfelt. The house remained fairly unchanged until 1847, when the north wing was added under the direction of a British architect, Robert Hesketh. It is generally not open to the public, but our group was able to study the house ~ literally from the attics to the kitchens. While I can not show you any of the interiors, I can delight you with the exteriors. . .

As with many old estates, the gardens at Twickel have evolved over the years. Daniel Marot was commissioned in 1711 to create a formal garden with a series of Baroque-style parterres, topiaries, fountains, and tree-lined allés. In the late 18th century the landscape architect Johann Georg Michael gave the gardens a more picturesque layout with meandering wooded walks, highlighted by a deer park. The 19th and 20th centuries also brought a series of garden renovations, including a new orangery (built 1847) and an English-style rose garden planted in 1907. And then there are of course the famous Twickel orange trees, many more than 300 years old (but more on that in a separate post).

Today the gardens are a happy marriage of formal and picturesque, recently restored and reinvigorated by the Dutch landscape designer Michael van Gessel to incorporate a series of landscape vistas, wildflower meadows, and water features. There is even a hermitage inspired by an early 19th-century design discovered in the archives!

More photographs here.


smilla4blogs said...

I love being able to accompany you on this wonderful tour through the Netherlands! Your flickr images are are really mastering your camera!

Style Court said...

Yes, definitely, it's like we are along for the ride. Thanks for this Janet.