The Keukenhof is not only world´s most famous tulip garden, it is also an old estate. 'Keukenhof' means The Kitchen Garden.
In the 15th Century this area consisted of woods and dunes and belonged to the Countess of Holland, Jacoba van Beieren. Here games were hunted and herbs gathered for the castle's kitchen. In the 17th century, a house was built on the grounds. This house was heavilly altered in the 19th century.
The present Keukenhof Park started in 1840 and was initially designed by horticultural architects Zochter, father and son. In 1949, Mayor of Lisse Mr. Lambooy, with dozens of prominent flower bulb and tulip growers, developed the idea for an open-air flower exhibition and started the flower garden of Keukenhof of today.
You can have a nice stroll in the park surrounding the castle. The estate has free admittance year round.
Since 2005 the castle is a museum. You can visit every monday from May to October. Tours are given every monday at 13.30 hrs and 15.00 hrs. Reservation desired: tel. 0252-750693. Costs: 6,00 euro per person. Children till 12 years and people over 65 pay 3,00 euro. The castle has many stairs, so unfortunately it is not possible to visit the castle in a wheel chair.