Keukenhof – The flower garden of Europe


Tulips from the Netherlands are world-famous. If you want to see the Dutch tulip fields in bloom, you should visit the country in April and May. This is the same period in which the biggest flower park in the world, Keukenhof, opens its doors to welcome every year almost 1.5 million visitors, who come here to witness a miracle.

Keukenhof, named by many the Garden of Europe, is situated in the town of Lisse, in the western Netherlands, between Amsterdam and Hague. Lisse is located at the centre of the Bulb Region (Bollenstreek), Netherlands’ flower-growing region and exports bulb flowers in large quantities to over a hundred countries worldwide. Keukenhof covers an area of 79 acres and approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted in the gardens every year. The park is widely known not only for its tulips but also features numerous other flowers like hyacinths, daffodils, lilies, roses and irises.

Keukenhof is situated on the 15th-century hunting grounds of Teylingen Castle and was the castle’s garden providing food for its inhabitants. The most famous inhabitant of the castle was Countess Jacoba van Beieren (1401-1436), who also has the title Dauphine of France as the wife of the Dauphin of France, a position analogous to the Princess of Wales. In 1638, the estate was bought by Adriaen Maertensz Block, who in 1641 after reconstruction, named the castle Keukenhof.

In 1857, Baron and Baroness Van Pallandt, at the time owners of the estate, tasked the architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, the designers of Vondelpark in Amsterdam, to restructure the park around the castle. That park, designed in the English style, was the base for the modern gardens. The park in its current form was established in 1949 by an association of bulb growers and flower exporters to showcase their products and support the export industry.

Keukenhof park has also four pavilions where new flower varieties are exhibited and you could vote which one is your favourite. The park opens for eight weeks from mid-March to mid-May but the grounds of Castle Keukenhof[are open all year long and frequently used for festivals such as Castlefest, the Ladies Winternight and the Christmas Fair.

For more information visit the official site of the park.

Also a video from Viator presenting this unique place :

*[All photos are from iStock]