All rooms in Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn are back where they belong. Over the centuries, some rooms were given a different purpose or were not used at all, but during the four years-long renovations, each room was given its original purpose and furnishings. In the renovated Loo, you can see Prince Bernhard’s originally furnished period room, among other things. “Het Loo looks really different on the inside now. And the planting in the gardens is also completely as it would have been in the 17th century,” said a spokesperson for the palace.
Willem III and his wife Mary Stuart bout Het Loo in 1684. When they became king and queen of England, they gave the building “majestic allure” and had two wings added. Until her death in 1962, Wilhelmina was the last royal resident of the palace, which was her favorite. Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven lived in a side wing for several years. Palace Het Loo has been a national museum since 1984, and the State owns the building. The Oranjes still throw a party there every now and then.
The palace has never been so radically renovated before. 4,300 square meters of asbestos were removed. An elevator was installed so that people with mobility issues could access the upper floors. All wooden floors were waxed and stripped of a layer of high-gloss lacquer, which did not exist in the 17th century. Runners were fitted on floors. LED lighting was installed in all chandeliers. Artisans from all over the world have knotted carpets, embroidered curtains, and restored wall coverings and lace curtains.
During the renovation, antique utensils were found in the nooks and crannies of the palace. In a very heavy wooden box, renovators found a folding camp bed that King Willem II used. A wheelchair covered with sheepskin was also found, which the Oranjes used to help less mobile guests. Such pieces are housed in the central depot in Amersfoort.
It is not clear how much the entire project will cost. The first phase involved the renovation of the palace and the asbestos removal. According to a spokesperson, the renovation work was completed within budget. But because much more asbestos was found than anticipated, the budget for its removal and repair was exceeded by 5 million euros.
Palace Het Loo cannot yet anticipate the costs of the underground expansion. This 5,000 square meter space, with a glass roof, will form the main entrance to the palace after completion in 2023. “Work on the underground extension is still ongoing, and we will not make any further announcements while the project is underway,” the spokesperson said. “Obviously, we are also affected by higher raw material prices and delays that have an impact on budgets. We will provide information about this at the end of the project.”