The Loo1 Palace in the Netherlands began its life in 1684 when William III, Prince of Orange, and his wife, Mary, Princess Royal, bought the estate with The Old Loo Palace with the intention of building a new hunting lodge Just five years later, they became the joint monarchs of England, Scotland, and Ireland, which lead to the further expansion of the building, to make it fit for a King and Queen.
Mary would die of smallpox at the age of just 31, while William continued to rule solo until his death in 1702. They would have no children together, which meant that William was succeeded by his sister-in-law Anne. The Loo Palace passed into the hands of his Frisian cousin, John William Friso, who also succeeded him as Prince of Orange.
It became a royal residence again in the 19th century with the arrival of King William I. Queen Wilhelmina loved the palace and largely grew up there. She would die at the palace in 1962. The last inhabitants were her granddaughter Princess Margriet and her husband with their children until 1975. The government designed the palace as a museum, which led to a thorough renovation until 1984.
In 2018, it was once again decided that a renovation was necessary, which asbestos being the main challenge. To prepare for the future, a brand new exhibition space of 5000 m22was to be constructed underneath the main courtyard. After five years of hard work, the palace will now reopen completely.
One part of the new exhibition space will host a permanent display about the House of Orange, while the other part will host a range of temporary displays. This space is currently used for a display about the renovation, and it houses a large art piece.
The palace itself has been open for a while now. It is now split into two tours, complete with an audio guide. You can follow the William & Mary Tour or the Wilhelmina Tour (or both!). I’m not the biggest fan of audio guides and would have preferred some more information on-site as well. However, if you prefer audio guides, you’re in luck.
The Loo Palace has certainly put itself back on the map as a tourist destination. Even as an English speaker, you will not be disappointed as everything is in English as well. The Loo Palace will reopen to visitors on 22 April 2023.