Museum Huis Doorn is the former place of exile of the last German emperor Wilhelm II. After the German defeat in World War I, he fled to the neutral Netherlands in 1918. In 1920, Wilhelm II bought Huis Doorn, where he lived until his death in 1941.
You enter the estate through the characteristic gatehouse and can see Huis Doorn beyond the lawn. The bust of Wilhelm II (1859-1941) with his stern gaze and moustache, awaits you. The mansion is modest in size by imperial standards.
The interior of the House is still original and, together with the art collection, it gives a fine picture of European court culture. In the three-storey House, 18 beautifully decorated rooms are open to the public.
Huis Doorn´s furnishings come from palaces in Berlin and Potsdam. Wilhelm II filled Huis Doorn with the contents of 64 railway carriages from Germany. Magnificent furniture, paintings, silver objects and tapestries enabled the lord of the manor to continue living up to his standards in his small palace.
The interior is still completely intact and offers the visitor an authentic picture of international royal living. Enter a setting of European allure and centuries of German royal history. And imagine how a pocket-sized court protocol played out daily in the small village of Doorn.
Huis Doorn houses the largest collection of German art and applied art outside Germany: there are over 30,000 objects. Some of these are on display at Huis Doorn, while others are in storage. The huge collection includes lots of silver and porcelain, paintings and furniture from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and shows you the different stages of the Baroque era. All objects from the House can be admired in our digital collection database.
Wilhelm had distinct tastes. He detested modern art. Instead, he loved the Baroque art of his ancestors, such as Frederick the Great.
Silver objects, in particular beautiful silverware, can be admired in the dining room, as well as silver bowls, ornamental cups, candlesticks, table decorations, coffee and tea services. A unique object is the so-called Kaisergabel, a fork specially designed for Wilhelm II, which enabled him to eat easily despite his disabled arm.
The porcelain collection includes porcelain from China, Japan and Europe (including Meissen and KPM). Huis Doorn has a large collection of KPM porcelain such as coffee, tea and dinner services, table decorations, a chandelier, and ornamental objects To meet the Hohenzollern’s huge demand for porcelain (who owned 28 palaces in Germany), they bought their own porcelain factory, the Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur (KPM) in Berlin in 1763. In the dining room, the table is set with one of the Hohenzollern's two large tableware sets (Neuosier or Buntbemaltes).
You can admire paintings by famous painters from the Baroque period. Besides works by French painters such as Nicolas Lancret, Antoine Pesne and Jean Antoine Watteau, there are paintings by German masters such as Johann Samuel Beck, Johann Philip Bach, Daniel Chodowiecki and Johann Friedrich August Tischbein. Chodowiecki´s famous Wachtparad painting is on display. Huis Doorn also shows a masterpiece by Dutch painter Abraham Storck (Battle of Kijkduin), created around 1860.
In pocket-size format Huis Doorn shows you how the huge Hohenzollern palaces in Germany were furnished and how people lived in them. We have an immense variety of carpets, sofas, chairs, tables, chests of drawers, cupboards and clocks on display. Among the finest pieces is the furniture decorated with gold and silver mounts and wooden inlays (marquetry) by Johannes Zwiener and the Spindler brothers.