PostNL officially launches Dutch Country Houses stamp series with Keukenhof Castle

The Hague / Amersfoort – PostNL, together with the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency, today officially launched the Dutch Country Houses stamp series. The first sheetlet in this series features the Keukenhof Castle in Lisse. The first stamp sheetlet was presented to Lisse-born musical performer, singer and presenter Bastiaan Ragas at Keukenhof Castle by Annerie Lekkerkerker, Retail Director at PostNL Marketing & Sales, and Erik Kleijn, Head of Heritage Structures at the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency.

This stamp sheetlet is the first in a series of fifty sheetlets featuring country houses to be issued throughout the Year of the Historic Country House. Other country houses that will be celebrated include Amerongen Castle and Verwolde Manor.
 
The complete series can by purchased by subscription. The Keukenhof Castle stamp sheetlet and free protective cover is available, while stocks last, from all PostNL post offices, Bruna bookshops, the Collect Club in Groningen and via www.postnl.nl/buitenplaatsen. The stamps are valid until further notice.
 
Each Keukenhof Castle stamp has a Chameleon code, which, when read using a smartphone with the Chameleon eXplorer app, leads you to more information on the country house. The app can be downloaded at www.postnl.nl/apps.

Country houses

A country house, known as a buitenplaats in Dutch, is a large house or mansion, often with outbuildings, that forms a harmonious whole with a surrounding garden or park. In centuries past, this sort of house was built as a refuge from the bustling city, a place where the residents could enjoy the peace and quiet of the country. More than 600 of these country houses still exist in the Netherlands, some open to the public and others still in private hands.

Keukenhof Castle 

Keukenhof Castle is situated in the middle of an estate with a 200-hectare wood, a park, meadows and various outbuildings, such as a coach house and a playhouse. The castle was built in 1640 as the country house of Adriaen Maertenszoon Block. Over the centuries, this country house has been sold on to various, mainly Amsterdam, families, who made various renovations and extensions as required through the years. The castle’s English garden was designed by the horticultural architects Zocher, a father and son. As early as 1661 mention was made of the "Keukenhouff orchard and plantation”. The Keukenhof Flower Show, an annual event held on the northern part of the estate that attracts visitors from around the world, was first held in 1947.