Keukenhof

Each year several millions of people visit the world's largest flower garden near the small town of Lisse (about 15 miles south of Amsterdam in the Netherlands).

This year 2009 Keukenhof celebrates its 60th birthday. In addition, it will be commemorating the fact that 400 years ago, in 1609, Henry Hudson, on behalf of the Dutch VOC shipping company, stepped ashore on what is now Manhattan (NY) and New Amsterdam was established.

Timing is everything when it comes to visiting the world's largest bulb garden because it is only open for 8 weeks during spring time. This year 2009 the Keukenhof will open its gates from March 19th up to May 21st.

The history of the Keukenhof dates back to 1949. The mayor of Lisse along with some prominent bulb exporters and flower growers created an open air flower exhibition on today's site. Over the years, the size of the park, number and variety of bulbs, plus the number of visitors has grown into the famous garden that is treasured by millions today.

Keukenhof literally means 'kitchen garden' and was so named because it was the herb garden outside the castle kitchen of Jacoba van Beieren. The herb garden along with a vast hunting area around that castle now comprise the modern Keukenhof Park grounds

Each year, nearly a million people ranging from locals residents to presidents of foreign countries flock to Keukenhof to pay tribute to the greatest bulb garden in the world. Travelling to and from the park has been made easier with public buses running directly to the park from Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport and the town of Lisse. In addition, numerous bus tour companies offer Keukenhof Garden tours in there holiday package. Four indoor pavilions stand on the grounds of Keukenhof Park - Oranje Nassau Pavilion, Beatrix Pavillion, Willem Alexander Pavilion, and Juliana. Throughout the park's eight week opening, the indoor exhibitions change weekly.

The Keukehof garden contains a manmade lake and little canals that cover a large portion of the park. The lake is home to many swans and ducks that float along the neatly trimmed gardens. Along the edge of the park, near the Japanese area you will find a picturesque windmill, which is open to the public. More than 50 artists have created 150 pieces of artwork to make the largest sculpture park in the Netherlands. These works of art blend in seamlessly with the blossoming flowers throughout the park.

For more information on the Keukenhof check out there website at: www.keukenhof.com

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