National monument and protected townscape
Long avenues, rustic ponds and high-quality, luxurious buildings and villas in eclectic style, neo-Renaissance and Art Nouveau. This part of Kralingen is a national monument and designated as protected townscape.
Words like splendour and abundance easily come to mind, but also words like modesty and introversy. During our last visit a few weeks ago, peace and tranquility were striking. The most prominent residents of the neighborhood seemed to be the songbirds in trees and bushes. But then again, a comfortable, laid back atmosphere in a big bustling city, who does not like that?
Majestic 19th-century mansions
The area between Hoflaan, Slotlaan and Essenweg previously was the location of Honingen Castle, that broke down in the Eighty Years’ War. In 1874 the municipality of Kralingen bought the former estate. The area was named Honingen Park and served partly as a public promenade and partly as a villa park. The pond in the park, possibly much older than the former castle itself, got surrounded by majestic late-19th-century mansions.
Villas named after Wagner Operas
In 1904 entrepreneur John Eckhardt Dulfer bought Villa Nuova in the Vijverlaan, which had a large garden. In honor of German composer Richard Wagner he renamed the house to Villa Wagner. Around the pond in his garden, Dulfer built a series of villas named after Wagner operas and characters like Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Wotan, Valkyrie, Rheingold, Siegfried, Parsifal, Tristan and Isolde and Rienzi.
East Kralingen, one of the richest areas in Holland
Kralingen is a very contrasting neighborhood. On the one hand a working class neighborhood, on the other hand one of the richest areas in the Netherlands.
The area around Vijverlaan and Hoflaan is nice to wander around for a few hours. We like to call it a ‘walking tour deluxe’. Primarily for the imposing houses that would not look out of place in London districts like South Kensington and Knightsbridge. And secondly for the lush gardens, and Park Rozenburg and Trompenburg Botanical Garden nearby.