Indian Ambassador’s residence in Netherlands, a 103-year-old Heritage monument will be open to public on Saturday, 9 September 2017 (Monuments Day).
Villa Meyland or India House in Wassenaar, Netherlands has been the official residence of Ambassadors of India since 1953. Constructed in 1914, it has been designated a State Monument and is included in the Dutch register of Monuments and Cultural Heritage since 2002.
India House is located at Backershagenlaan, 19, 2243 AB, Wassenaar. It will be open to the public from 11am to 5pm on Saturday.
Prior to the construction of the Villa, the Meyland grounds belonged to the vast country estate of Backershagen and was sold by the heirs of Princess Marie von Weid, the daughter of Prince Frederick of the Netherlands and wife of William, the fifth Prince of Weid (Germany) to members of the company Weise & Co. in Rotterdam. During the Second World War, Villa Meyland was confiscated by Reichskomissar Dr. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, but he never lived there.
The architecture of the Villa is inspired by the English country-house style. An arched bridge over the Zijlwatering, a gatekeeper’s house, chauffeur’s house, a tennis court, a miniature house meant to be used as a kennel and a geometrically streamlined garden that is structured in three levels form a part of this beautiful 7.2 acres estate.
Villa Meyland has been home to 23 Indian Ambassadors during their respective tenures in the Netherlands. H.E Mr Venu Rajamony is the 25th Ambassador to the Netherlands and assumed his office in June 2017.
On Saturday, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the history and architecture of the Villa, explore the estate and see photos of how the building looked in its early days. They will also be able to enjoy varied facets of the Indian culture and participate in Yoga sessions, Bollywood dance, Henna (Indian temporary tattoo application) session, and dressing up in traditional Indian attire, including Sarees and Turbans. Visitors can also enjoy a performance of Tabla by well known Dutch artist Heiko Dijker, a performance of South Indian classical music, a Baithak Gaana, a musical performance popular amongst the Suriname Hindustani community, an exhibit of Indian weaves and a sampling of Indian food delicacies.
The “Open Monumentendag” (Open Monuments Day) is celebrated as a Heritage Day in the Netherlands and is held every year in September. On this day, more than 4000 beautiful monuments, each a symbol of the Dutch culture are made accessible for everyone.