Buitenplaats Elswout

The Elswout site was a “buitenplaats” for a long time before the current construction began. The original house (of which the structural wall’s are incorporated in the current 19th century house) was built by a merchant dealing with Russia, called Carl du Moulin in circa 1633-1635. The design is attributed to Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post. After Du Moulin went bankrupt the estate was sold in 1654 to Gabriel Marcelis, an Amsterdam arms merchant for the King of Denmark, who called the estate ‘Elswout’ (meaning: Alderwood). Like Du Moulin, he used it as a summer home while selling the sand to be shipped by boat to Amsterdam for construction. In the Frans Hals Museum 17th-century depictions of Elswout by Gerrit Berckheyde and Jan van der Heyden are on display. By removing the sand in the dunes on his property, Gabriel Marselis was able to lay out a garden in the French style while financing this from the profits on the sand. Though the still existing “sand vaart” canal was originally constructed for Carl du Moulin, it is called the Marcelisvaart today after the rules that Marcelis drew up for the diggers and boatsmen on his property. Removing sand from the property was only halted in 1948 when the level of the garden was considered dangerously low by the water board. (source:Wikipedia)

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