While in the Netherlands, one of the places we visited was Het Loo Palace. This magnificent building was built in the 1680s for the Orange family, the monarchy in Holland. Up until the 1970s it remained in the hands of the royals, but in 1984 it was turned into a state museum and is now open to the public.

I'll be completely honest; I did not find the inside of the palace that amazing. It was interesting to know you were walking down corridors that royalty had walked down before, but it felt a bit too much like you were, well, in a museum.

Each room was set up like a specific period of time and visitors were forced to follow the path through each in turn, cordoned off from anything interesting by a rope that would sound an alarm if you so much as brushed against it.

Everything felt a little stiff and contrived. While the furniture was the same as various people that lived in the building would have used, the fact that different rooms showed different time periods made it all feel a little fake. I think I would have preferred it left just like it was when the last residents moved out.

The gardens, however, were a completely different story. As you stepped out of the stuffy building, you were greeted with the sight of beautiful gardens as far as the eye could see. Everything was perfectly symmetrical, with an array of perfectly maintained flowers beds and beautifully ornate water fountains vying for your attention. 

The beauty of the gardens certainly made up for the disappointment of the actual palace. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours, walking up and down the paths in the sunshine, occasionally stopping to admire the view from one of the benches dotted around.

Have you ever visited a palace on your travels?

PS. While in the Netherlands, I also visited The Gardens of Apeltern.