- The quiet authors of an early modern palatial landscape: Transformation without Reconstruction at King William's Het Loo
- Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape: Living in Landscapes, Riga and Liepaja
- Book/source title
- Landscape biographies: geographical, historical and archaeological perspectives on the production and transmission of landscapes
- Pages (from-to)
- Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (AHM)
This chapter presents a case study of Het Loo, the palace built in the Dutch province of Gelderland by stadholder William III, and extended a few years later when the prince also acquired the crown of England. This late 17th-century palatial landscape was extensively renovated in the 19th century (by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte) and in the 20th century (by Queen Wilhelmina). The initial building and the subsequent rebuilding phases - the moments of structural change - have hitherto received
scholarly attention; the supposedly uneventful 18th century on the contrary has not. It is the aim of this chapter to demonstrate, by means of the biographical approach, that a change of the palatial landscape also occurred during the 18th century, albeit not structurally. Both natural processes (the steady growth of the trees in the garden, a harsh winter) and individual authors (the little known protagonists who inhabited or administered the allegedly ‘frozen’ palace site) were involved in the
transformation of the site. The other ‘quiet authors’ distinguished here are the contemporary visitors to the palace who recorded what they saw and whose travel diaries, letters and autobiographies are the historical sources which enable a recounting of a somewhat forgotten era of Het Loo.
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