The regional country house landscape

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Lecture at the Encounter International Conference "A Manorial World", Gammel Estrup, Denmark
Rich merchants as well as the landed nobility constructed their (landed) estates outside the wealthy cities as part of the emancipation of the upcoming civilian life in the province of Holland, the rich and influential western part of the Netherlands. Between 1630 and 1730, many of Hollands typical civilian estates were constructed as numerous and small scaled country houses.
This essential spatial characteristic element was expressed in the words of Cosimo di Medici’s companion: ‘many beautiful, small estates in Dutch style’. The question is how to define the spatial essence of these historic groups of houses? Based on literature research, the conclusion is that these estates were firmly connected to city, city life, infrastructure and to the subsoils, the landscape, recreation and agriculture. These themes, which are both made of tangible as well as intangible aspects, are the main themes for the formation of country estates in Holland. And these country estates landscapes are the corner stones of the construction of the rural seventeenth century landscape, which are in dire need of preservation.
This paper wants to show how the positioning and the design of country estates was firmly connected to the construction of the main infrastructure of Holland (rivers, barge canals and main roads), which change in the seventeenth century. Infrastructure is one of the three main themes which has been defining Hollands country estates landscapes for many centuries.
This is done by combining large scale inventories of country estates as well as rivers, barge canals and main roads in numbers and maps on different scales. This method of mapping is leading to renewed perspectives on the positioning of country estates in the Netherlands in the past and for the future.
Period22 Sep 2017
Event titleEncounter International Conference: A Manorial World
Event typeConference
LocationGammel Estrup, Denmark