Centre of Wassenaar
5 km – short walk
Wassenaar ranks among the top three of Dutch municipalities with the largest number of country estates. Some of them are located in and around the old village centre. This is an excellent starting point for a very interesting and varied walk that begins and ends at the old core of the village.
Even early in history, people understood that elevated parts of an inner dune were a safe place to live. In the 8th century, all one could find here were a few wooden farmsteads and a church. Gradually, the village started to expand and exit roads were built diverging in all directions from the Square. The elevated and sheltered position against the dunes ensured that the village was an attractive place for the construction of country houses.
The walk will take you beyond just the old village. You will also see the Burchtplein with its remarkable collection of trees. Next, you will continue to the Prinsenwijk (Princes’ district) and one of the most famous country houses in Wassenaar, Huize De Paauw. This house was once occupied by Prince Frederik of the Netherlands, son of King William I. By the mid-19th century, the Prince commissioned first J.D. Zocher Jr and later C.E.A. Petzold to create a beautiful landscape park.