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Museum Hofwijck Walk is a 4.2 mile loop trail located near Voorburg, South Holland, Netherlands that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, trail running, and bird watching.

Distance: 4.2 miles Elevation Gain: 242 feet Route Type: Loop


bird watching





wild flowers


city walk

historic site

pub walk

This short walk first takes you from the station through old and new Voorburg. Many old buildings are still fully intact or restored. You can also visit polder mill De Vlieger en route. At the end you can visit Museum Hofwijck, located in the home of Constantijn Huygens. Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687) was a versatile man. He was a clever poet, composed music and had a great interest in literature, visual arts and architecture. Constantijn Huygens designed the house and garden together with the architect Jacob van Campen. House and garden are laid out according to the building principles of the Italian Renaissance: symmetrical and with harmonious proportions. In 1625 he was appointed secretary to Stadholder Frederik Hendrik. He would remain with the Oranges until the end of his long life. In 1627, Constantijn married Suzanna van Baerle. The couple had five children. Suzanna died in 1637, shortly after the birth of their fifth child, a daughter. In 1639 Huygens bought a piece of land on the Vliet in Voorburg and had the Hofwijck country estate built there. It became the place where he could withdraw from the busy court life in The Hague. The house is the basic size for the entire design of the house and garden. All other sizes in the garden are derived from the sizes of the house. The original map of Hofwijck has strong similarities with a human body. The house and the pond form the head, the driveways are the arms, the orchard is the chest. The legs can be recognized in the long paths in the no longer existing overtuin. The street that separated the two parts of the garden, the Westeinde, is the means. For this purpose Huygens was inspired by the views of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius. He prescribed that the house and garden should form an organic unity with harmonious relationships, just like the perfect proportions of the human body. When he was no longer a secretary after the death of Frederick Henry and William II, he had more free time. In 1651 he completed the long poem Hofwijck. He sings about his beloved country estate in nearly three thousand lines of verse. Hofwijck is the best-known court-dense in Dutch literature. Today you can taste the atmosphere of one of the most beautiful country houses from the Golden Age at Hofwijck. The house still has the authentic interior from the time of Constantine. The remaining part of the garden was restored to its former glory in 2005 through a thorough renovation. The Hofwijck country estate has also played a major role in the life of Christiaan Huygens. As a child he spent the weekends and holidays there. The large garden with its ponds, orchard and numerous special trees has made him a curious observer of nature. At a later age he also stayed at Hofwijck for long periods with his father. For the last eight years of his life, from 1687 to 1695, Christiaan was even the main occupant of the house. He wrote one of his most important books, Cosmotheoros, in which he recorded his knowledge about the universe, the stars and planets. Hofwijck shows a small but special collection of objects by Christiaan. Below is the mechanism of the timepiece from the Oude Kerk in Scheveningen, with which Christiaan carried out tests on the development of the pendulum clock.

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