Royalty and the Modern Era
Author/Editor : Jennifer J. Lacelle
Date : March 28, 2021
Nijmegen, the eldest city of the Netherlands (formerly Holland), has much to offer tourists interested in shopping, history and living like royalty. On the outskirts of the city resides the age-old castle of Wijchen. While it’s unknown when the castle was actually built, the first mentions of it are in 1392. The castle was used as a fortress and defensive position in the 14th through 17th centuries.
The most prominent mention in its history is the purchase by Emilia of Nassau in 1609. She sold a pearl necklace to afford the castle, which was necessary since her marriage had not been approved by the government or prince. Thus, began her troubling love story… before she even obtained her castle.
Emilia had the external portion of the castle heavily renovated before moving in. Centuries later, a devastating fire (1906) completely gutted the internal portion of the castle, but these renovations remained intact.
As such, the legacy of her era’s architecture is what you’ll find when you visit Wijchen, listed as 11th on their top 20 castles, on your trip to the Netherlands. Thesmall country has over 600 castles and country homes anyone can visit. Many of these sites are strongly connected to royalty and people of noble births.
The country is also proud that these estates are open to the public through means of museums, restaurants, attractions, hostels and luxury hotels. The province of Gelderland has several castles turned hotel. One of these is Castle de Essenburgh, built 17th century, which has 37 rooms available for booking, and is only a 15-minute walk away to de Zwaluwhoeve, a spa.
Other castles for stay in this region include Châteaux Castle Engelenburg, which is host to a golf course. There’s also Ophemert Castle, a bed and breakfast style lodging. This quaint hotel was built in the 13th century, but don’t let that fool you, it now has an outdoor swimming pool available.
The country’s oldest street “market” is still going strong with luxury fashion stores and department stores. There are parks, squares, cafés and restaurants to discover as you stroll this area. But don’t get lost in the labyrinth, Malden Maize — just kidding, you’re more than welcome to visit this tourist attraction
Anyone looking to do a little shopping in the Netherlands is bound to find Alkmaar, the country’s oldest cheese market.
It’s also home to shopping centres, canals, courtyards and terraces for exploring and dining.
If you’re a music fan, check out their Beatles Museum. Beer? Check, there’s a museum for that too. So, what are you waiting for? Treat yourself royally with all the modern fixings.
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