Oude Loo Castle
Oude Loo Castle, locally known as Kasteel het Oude Loo, lies in the gardens behind the 17th century Royal Loo Palace, in Apeldoorn, in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands.
In the name Oude Loo Castle, Oude translates to 'old' and Loo meant 'forest on sandy soil'.
Oude Loo Castle started out as a farm in the early 15th century, probably built by an Udo Taholt. Later that century it was owned by a Gerrit van Rijswijk who probably fortified the farm.
Later it came into the possession of the Bentinck family. Johan Bentinck rebuilt the castle around 1538-40 into the moated castle we see today. It was rebuilt in an U-shape when residential wings were built against the older front with the round corner towers. In those days it was used as a hunting lodge by Karel, Duke of Gelre.
In 1684 Prince William III, Stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland acquired the castle. He also used it as a hunting lodge. But because the castle soon became too small for his hunting parties he built the Loo Palace at a short distance in 1686-88.
In 1795, when the French occupied Holland, the castle was used as a military hospital and the castle fell into neglect.
In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte appointed his brother Louis Napoleon as King of The Netherlands. Louis resided in the castle during summers. He filled up the moat around the castle because in his youth it was predicted that he would die by drowning.
In 1904 Queen Wilhelmina of Orange ordered the restoration of the castle. This was done by the famous Dutch architect dr. PJH. Cuypers who also built the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and rebuilt De Haar Castle. Also in the 1950's and 1960's restoration works were carried out. The castle is now the private property of the Dutch Royal family who use it at a regular basis. The castle itself is not accessible but the grounds surrounding it are, during April and May.