One of the region’s most popular attractions, the Nationaal Park de Hoge Veluwe is an expanse of sandy heaths, lakes, dunes and woodland crisscrossed by cycle trails, with a number of hides from which you can observe its varied fauna. The park was formerly the private estate of the Kröller-Müllers: born near Essen in 1869, Hèléne Kröller-Müller came from a wealthy family who made their money in the manufacture of blast furnaces, while her husband, the ever-so-discreet Anton came from a Rotterdam shipping family. Super-rich, the couple had a passionate desire to leave a grand bequest to the nation: a mixture of nature and culture, which would, Hèléne felt, “be an important lesson when showing the inherent refinement of a merchant’s family living at the beginning of the century”. She collected the art, Anton the land and its animals – the moufflons (wild sheep) were, for example imported from Corsica – and in the 1930s ownership of the whole estate was transferred to the nation on the condition that a museum was built inside the park. The resulting Kröller-Müller Museum opened in 1938 with Hèléne acting as manager until her death in 1939, and a Sculpture Garden was added a few years later.
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