Known as the green heart of the Netherlands, the De Hoge Veluwe National Park is a natural monument that offers a space for recreation and creativity. The park has 5,400 hectares to explore, which includes a variety of terrains such as the woodland, drift sands, heathland, and peat bogs. Within the grounds there are also two museums that allude to the history behind the park that began in the early 20th century when Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller used their passions to unite nature and art together. Now the park serves as a place to discover the outdoors of the Netherlands and to become immersed in culture.
The history behind the De Hoge Veluwe National Park started with the vision of the Kröller-Müller couple to create a place for to discover nature and art. From 1909-1923 the couple fenced off the park and brought in various animals such as mouflons, red deer, and wild boar. As well, construction began on their residence called the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus and an art museum. Yet, in 1923 there was an economic crisis and the couple could not afford to continue building the museum and they were no longer to sustain the park. In the following decade, the park was transferred to the government, which granted a foundation to run the De Hoge Veluwe National Park. The government also completed building the Kröller-Müller Museum and consequentially the couples’ art collection was donated to the center. Even though the park and the museum are under two different organizations, they work in harmony to carry forth the vision of the founders, to unite culture and nature.
The National Park features many beautiful areas within its grounds that features cultural buildings and exhibitions, which encourage visitors to be inspired while enjoying nature.
There is great wildlife and environmental diversity with animals such as the Red Deer, European badger, Sand lizards, and Nightjar birds that live in the park. However, the artistic and cultural components of the park can also be explored at the Visitor’s Center, the Kröller-Müller Museum, and the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus. As the starting point of the park the Visitor’s Center is an informative place that teaches guest about the various walks, cycling excursions, activities, and nature of the national park. Filled with interactive information about the wildlife, culture, and history it also uses films and exhibitions to educate guests about rare reptiles, insects, birds, and amphibians. These nature films also give insight into the landscape of the park, and photographers and artists showcase their work in the exhibition space. The heart of culture in the De Hoge Veluwe National Park lies in the Kröller-Müller Museum, which is a center that holds many works of arts by modern masters. It is home to the second largest collection of Van Goghs in the world. Many other famous artists such as Claude Monet, Pablo Piscasso, Piet Mondriaan, and Georges Seurat can be found within the halls of the Kröller-Müller. There is also a large sculpture garden with works of art form prominent artists that surrounds the museum and is adorned by a beautiful garden.
To see the residence of the Kröller-Müllers, who are also the founders of the park, visitors are able to tour the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus. As one of the most iconic buildings in the Netherlands, guest can see the unique style in the country residence that was designed by renowned architect Hendrikus Petrus Berlage. An English country house inspired the building and within the architectural elements his distinct style is found through the extreme geometric precision. And use of materials. There is also a tower that jets out from the house, which offers stunning views of the property.
The De Hoge Veluwe National Park has a variety of activities that are available for visitors of all ages to partake in while exploring nature. Some of these include the Market and Outdoor Meditation. At the market, vendors are able to come together and sell their products and throughout different times of the year the market transforms into a cultural event. During Christmas visitors can explore the themed booths and can pick out their own Christmas tree, and Easter time hosts an Easter egg hunt for children that are 12 and younger. To discover relaxation in the scenic background of the park, Outdoor Meditation is offered. Through the various events, cultural and natural features at the park visitors are able to have a unique experience.