Photos Huis Doorn – Home of Kaiser Wilhelm II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last weekend I visited Huis Doorn in the Netherlands, home of the former German Kaiser (Emperor) who lived from 1859 – 1941. After Germany lost WW I, Wilhelm II obtained asylum in the Netherlands (which had been neutral during WW I). Wilhelm II subsequently bought Huis Doorn and ordered extensive alterations. Fortunately enough he did not have to worry about furnishing his house; the German government enabled him to take whatever he wanted from his palaces in Germany. All in all 59 railway carriages were needed to transport his selection of furniture and other possessions to the Netherlands.

The transition from Kaiser to civilian provided him with lots of spare time. One of the hobbies of Wilhelm II developed was felling trees from the estate and chopping them up. It was rumored that he was so dedicated to this activity that he was solely responsible for significantly reducing the number of trees in the woods surrounding the house.

Important persons in his life in Doorn included his wives, first Augusta Victoria van Sleeswijk-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, who died in 1921; and secondly, Hermine von Schönlach-Carolath. He married her in 1922, one year after the death of his first wife. After Wilhelm’s death Hermine returned to her estate in Silesia, where she died in 1947 during imprisonment by the Red Army. Another important person in the life of Wilhelm II at Huis Doorn was Sigurd Von Ilseman, his adjudant, who had followed him into exile at the end of WW I. Sadly, Von Ilseman committed suicide in 1952 on the premises of Huis Doorn.

The emperor always kept hoping that one day the monarchy in Germany would be restored and stated that he wanted his body only to be transported back to Germany once that would be the case. To no avail. Although Hermann Goering visited the Kaiser a couple of times in Doorn before Hitler came to power, Hitler was not interested in a political role for Wilhem II.

The attitude of Wilhem II towards the Nazis was a bit ambiguous. On the one hand, he sent Hitler a telegram to congratulate him with the victory over France; on the other hand, he did not want the Swastika symbol to be present at his funeral. His telegram of gratulations to Hitler was the reason for the Dutch government to confiscate Huis Doorn after the war. His wish of a funeral without Swastikas was ignored by the German authorities when they arranged Wilhelm’s funeral in 1941.

The relationship with the Dutch royal family also was interesting. Despite the fact that they were relatives, Queen Wilhelmina never paid him a visit, though her daughter Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard did.

After his death Wilhelm II was put on a bier in the Mausoleum (which he had designed himself) on the premises of Huis Doorn. In the field in the front of the mausoleum there are also graves of five of his dogs.


All pictures are taken with an Olympus OMD-EM10 camera in combination with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED wide angle lens. The pictures in the house were taken without a tripod with an ISO between 3200-6400, hence the noise level of the pictures. All pictures were taken in RAW and post-processed in Adobe Lightroom.

A selection of the Kaiser’s uniforms

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Emperor staff

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The guest room

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sleeping room for guests

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The dinner table

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The dining room

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The reception room

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The smoking room

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Exterior Restroom of the wife of Wilhelm II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Restroom of the wife of Wilhelm II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The relaxation room of Wilhelm II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Hermine Salon, named after the second wife of Wilhelm II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The master bedroom

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bathroom of the wives of Wilhelm II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Working room for the adjutant of the Kaiser, Sigurd von Ilsemann.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The study of Wilhelm II – note the saddle chair at the left

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vestibule

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The yellow lounge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The relaxation room of Wilhelm II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kitchen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kitchen table

"Fungus in the palace garden" Olympus OMD-EM10 Olympus Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED

Fungus in the garden of huis Doorn

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The mausoleum of the Kaizer seen through the windows of Huis Doorn (which could do with a cleaning). In the forefront the German eagle and the graves of five of his dogs can be seen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Grave of one the Kaiser’s dogs in the garden in front of the mausoleum of the Kaizer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The mausoleum, designed by Wilhelm II himself

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The coffin in the mausoleum

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The rose garden

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The chapel of huis Doorn

I would highly recommend a visit to the estate, combined with a guided tour by enthusiastic volunteers. For more information go to www.huisdoorn.nl

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s