Castle Rosendael – Rozendaal, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura

Rozendaal, Netherlands

Castle Rosendael

A late-medieval Dutch castle with trick fountains in its whimsical water gardens. 

Castle Rosendael, the former home of the counts and dukes of Guelders, dates back to 1616. The late-Middle Ages keep and much of the original interior and impressive furniture remains intact. An elaborate landscape park surrounds the castle, and in its water gardens are the famous trick fountains that have been delighting visitors for hundreds of years.

De Bedriegertjes, or “the tricksters” are mini fountains hidden in the cascade’s mosaic floor, which turn on and off unexpectedly so as to spray surprised visitors.

The fountain follies were part of the elaborate gardens designed by the French landscape architect Daniel Marot in the 18th century, which also included the unusual shell gallery, grotto, and teahouse. 

Inside the castle, for years one of the highlights was a four-poster bedstead, made with shaved velvet from Genoa, satin, silk and featuring sculpted curling on the headboard. At the time it was built, the wooden bed was extremely costly, upholstered by a prominent Hague artisan. It was preserved at Rosendael until eventually being sold as a masterpiece to the Rijksmuseum when the castle was converted to a home for the elderly.

Dutch homes would often have a pronkbed, or show bedstead, that was on display to show off the family’s fine linens and furnishings, but was never used. There are only a few of these pronkbedden from the 18th century left. Though the original bedstead is no longer in the castle, visitors can still admire it. In its place is a video installation called “A Heavenly Bed,” which depicts the bedstead in changing decors and different eras through history.

Know Before You Go

There is a place for lunch and the best time to visit is in good weather. The location is also available for weddings.