A royal estate
In the oldest dune area of Zuid-Kennemerland, just four kilometres from the sea, lies the magnificent Koningshof estate. A perfectly renovated and unique family home that is surprisingly bright and lively and makes every day special!
Overveen is a beautiful village in the municipality of Bloemendaal, near Haarlem, on the edge of the rolling dune landscape of Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. Sand drifts, heaths, creeks and seep, beautiful avenues that wind through rugged forests. And everywhere, there is the mild, salty scent of the sea, which tirelessly hits the beach just a few kilometres away. This is without a doubt one of the most exciting and beautiful areas in the Netherlands. Hidden among all the greenery are beautiful villas and distinguished estates. You often see nothing more than their imposing entrance gates. They arose in carefully chosen locations, preferably in the foothills of the dunes, and still impress with their beauty and grandeur. They were the residences of wealthy patrician families who had discovered the joys of the great outdoors in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and would exchange their patrician houses in the city for a long stay by the sea in the summer months.
Today, some villas have been given a business purpose, serve as a representative headquarters or conference centre, others harbour a charitable institution or belong to Natuurmonumenten. And sometimes, they are passionate individuals who take care of an estate and house their families and business there. Living on an estate is a dream to many people, and only a few of them actually fulfil it. Not everyone dares to undertake the major renovation that is usually necessary to restore warmth and comfort to such a large house. The Koningshof estate was lucky.
English country house style
Koningshof was built between 1898 and 1900 for the Amsterdam banker Johannes Luden and his wife Mathilde van der Vliet. Mathilde was a descendant of the Borski family. At the time, the Borski banker family was among the wealthiest and most important families in the Netherlands. They owned the massive dune area between Haarlem and the sea at that time, which they used as hunting grounds. The family with offspring alternated between staying at Elswout, Duinlust and the Belvedère estate.
Koningshof was designed by architect Abraham Salm as an informal interpretation of the English country house style, a balanced blend of varying architectural styles. No strong symmetry, but fascinating, playful and friendly. Staggered and expanded facades in red brick with bay windows, loggias and balconies, a complex tiled roof with bay windows, slender, striking chimneys and a beautiful tower that offered a wide view of the landscape, deep into the opposite Elswout. The garden with long sightlines was designed in the English landscape style by famous garden architect L.A. Springer, who was also responsible for the park of the neighbouring estate Duin en Kruidberg and parts of the park of Soestdijk Palace.
In 2018, Koningshof is surrounded by forests, but at the start of the twentieth century, it was on a dune top in an open landscape. The estate of over two hundred hectares was always inhabited by the Luden family, until the last descendant of the family bequeathed it to Vereniging Natuurmonumenten in 1962. The villa and the then-included coach house with a park garden of over 6,200 m2 was leased to the Dutch Film Museum until approximately 2003. The rest of the estate was opened to the public.
After the departure of the Dutch Film Museum, Koningshof stood vacant for some time and came into the possession of the current owners in 2009. Although the national monument had been seriously affected by the vacancy, it eventually ended up in good hands. The villa was renovated in grand style over two and a half years, with the authentic design of Salm serving as a guideline. Neither costs nor efforts were spared to restore Koningshof to its former glory and enrich it with modern facilities for optimal living comfort. The office villa was dismantled to revive the grandiose family home.
Warn and intimate
For its time, Koningshof was a home full of luxury. It had a French lift, hot and cold running water, a bathroom with bathtub and two kitchens. The layout was well thought out, just as everything in the house was designed for a specific purpose. Staff and residents were not to run into each other and had their own stairwells, corridors and service areas under the roof beams.
The country house offers approximately 1,350 m2 of living space spread across three floors. Although this is certainly a big house, it feels warm and intimate because the individual rooms have pleasant, well-arranged dimensions. The covered entrance at the rear (north) of the house provides access to the vestibule and then to the monumental hall with fireplace and platform stairs, which is slightly to the right of the centre of the villa. The living areas are at the front of the villa. The dining room with fireplace and large porch oriented to the east, the living room with semi-circular bay oriented to the south, the television room or former ‘gentlemen’s room’ with fireplace oriented to the southwest and the office with a fireplace, also facing southwest. There is a spacious wardrobe at the rear of the country house with a passage to the former servants room and a staff corridor that leads to the living kitchen with a beautiful fireplace and former service rooms.
All of the woodwork, panelling, wooden fireplaces and parquet floors, the decorated stucco ceilings and stairwells have been fully renovated and, where necessary, renewed in style, whereby every room was given back its own atmosphere while staying true to the English character – fully in the spirit of the authentic design from Abraham Salm. The original French-made lift was also restored to its former glory. We asked the owner what had been renovated and their response was: what hasn’t been renovated? In the first 2.5 years, the home was populated solely by an army of artisans. Tens of thousands of special roof tiles and stone ornaments were baked to heal the ravages of time. It goes without saying that the house has been fitted with kilometres of new piping, electricity and water. Domotics, computer-controlled heating technology, heat pumps and the like made this a carefree house that can be immediately inhabited. This was a renovation with passion and an eye for detail.
There are eight bedrooms on the first floor. The master suite with fireplace and adjoining dressing room and bathroom has a beautiful square balcony on the side, facing east. There are four more bedrooms with fireplace, three with a balcony and various beautiful bathrooms. On the attic floor (approx. 335 m2), where the staff would stay in the time of the Luden family, there are various other bedrooms and a bathroom – now an ideal play area for children with a bar, cinema and table tennis. Below the house is a large basement with a pool, wellness and fitness room.
nd so, one of the most beautiful country houses on the Dutch coast was saved from decay. The current owners have made every effort to give Koningshof back its former grandeur and retain it for the future. A royal villa in a magnificent location in the Randstad, which welcomes new residents with the greatest respect. It must be fantastic to live here and be part of the glorious history of this charming estate as the new owner.
The country house is situated on leasehold owned by Natuurmonumenten. As for the country house, it is located on approximately 5,800 m2 of land. It concerns a temporary leasehold until 31 July 2050 with an annual canon of approximately € 60,000. The current leaseholder is working in splitting the right, whereby the canon will be divided/adjusted. There are possibilities for perhaps receiving more land in leasehold.
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