Walk to Oud-Zuilen
a "Dutch Open Air Museum"

Walk to Oud-Zuilen from Utrecht CS

On Sunday, my friend and I enjoyed our walk to Oud-Zuilen. We started at Utrecht and followed the Vecht River to our destination through a beautiful area with a lot of history. 

Oud-Zuilen is a castle village located near the Vecht river and feels untouched by time. This is not a surprise because “Sulen” is already mentioned in 1200. It was as if we were visiting an open air museum. The village was first mentioned in 1200.

The clear sky with white clouds copied a typical 18th/19th-century scenery portrayed by famous Dutch Masters with Utrecht’s largest and smallest windmills, the Westbroekse and Buitenwegse wind mill, near Oud-Zuilen.

Slot Zuylen, inhabited since 1247, took us back in time; the castle, the beautiful canals, and the snake wall were worthwhile to visit and see. 

Living in the Utrecht area for almost 20 years off and on, I felt a bit ashamed, I had never visited this beautiful part of Utrecht. Apparently, I don’t have to travel far to find these gorgeous gems. 

A Second Visit to Castle Zuylen!

Unlike my previous visit to Slot Zuylen, where I just admired the exterior, the interior of Slot Zuylen on this second visit offered a glimpse into its rich history. The castle began as a simple tower and was transformed over the centuries. Each generation left its mark inside, creating a fascinating collection of art and everyday objects from the 15th to the 20th century. 

Beyond the Castle's Exterior Beauty

The grandeur of Slot Zuylen’s interior is unquestionable. The Gobelin Hall stands out as a distinct highlight. The magnificent late 17th-century tapestry depicts a lush forest covering the walls and is filled with beautiful details.

Inspired by Belle van Zuylen: A Woman's Day Celebration

The van Tuyll family played a significant role in Slot Zuylen’s history, and Belle van Zuylen is undoubtedly one of its most fascinating residents. She inspired our visit to the Castle on International Women’s Day today. We came to celebrate women and girls like Belle, who dared to challenge the status quo and fight for a more just and equal world.

Belle's Sanctuary

Belle’s beautiful room, bathed in light and featuring the authentic desk where she wrote and the chair she sat in, offered a stunning view. This spot must have been a perfect sanctuary for her to pursue her writing dreams. In a likely break from convention, she married her brother’s tutor and later achieved fame under her writer’s name, Madame de Charrière, after moving to Switzerland.


Sunday, April 30, 2023
Friday, March 8, 2024


7.41 miles
1.79 miles

Moving Time

2:42:08 hours
0:36:03 hours


17 °C, clouds
9 °C, sunny