By Mirthe Levels – Communication Committee

A lot of you have probably seen a picture of the Netherlands with the windmills in the background and rows of different coloured tulips in the front. Those flowers are a typical image that a lot of people see when they think of this country. However, we have more than just tulips here; every year the ‘Keukenhof’, also known as the ‘Garden of Europe’ is set up.

Keukenhof is one of the world’s largest flower gardens in the province South-Holland. Yearly, about a million people from all over the world visit it to behold the wide arrange of flowers that are exhibited by companies from the neighbourhood. According to the website they annually plant around 7 million flower bulbs! This year it is open from the 21 st of March till the 19th of May.

he name ‘Keuken Hof’ can be literally translated as ‘Kitchen Court’. The name comes from the history of the area. Keukenhof is established on a part of the estate of Castle Keukenhof. This estate is built in the dunes called the ‘Keukenduinen’. The dunes are called ‘Keuken’ dunes, because the
main profit came from things like wild animals, cattle, and different types of herbs and berries, that were all meant for the housekeeping, or for the kitchen (= keuken), of the estate.

The flower garden features a big variety of different gardens and garden styles. The English landscape garden for example features winding paths, while the historical garden is enclosed and showcases many old types of bulbs. The nature garden consists of a water garden, while the
Japanese country garden is a non-traditional garden, in a natural environment. Although a lot of people expect to see the often photographed long fields of tulips, Keukenhof doesn’t showcase this. There are tulip fields outside of the Garden, but these are mostly privately owned and thus may have restricted access.

I*ESN is also visiting the Keukenhof on the 20 th of April. For just €40, they will take you to the Keukenhof, provide you entrance, and afterwards they will go to the Zaanse Schans to see the windmills. After all of that you will also visit Volendam, which is a very typical Dutch village.

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