Dutch royals offer 16th century castle to house Ukrainian refugees
The Dutch royal family has offered the Slot ’t Oude Loo castle on the Het Loo estate near Apeldoorn as accommodation for refugees from Ukraine.
The agreement was made between king Willem-Alexander, the state property agency, the refugee settlement agency COA and local authorities, the royal house said in a statement.
Six to eight families, or 20 to 30 people, will be able to live in the castle, a 16th century hunting lodge surrounded by a moat.
In Augustus 2006 the castle was lived in by prince Naruhito and princess Masako from Japan for a few weeks, when the princess needed to get away from the pressure of the Japanese court.
Nyenrode University, which is also housed in a castle, has also agreed to put up some 30 refugees from Ukraine in prefab housing units its grounds.
‘There is plenty of room and the surroundings are very suitable to rest and settle down after all the terrible things these people have been through,’ local mayor Ap Reinders said.
Some 12,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the Netherlands so far and local councils have identified accommodation for some 25,000 people.
The aim is to come up with a further 25,000 places for long term living in the coming weeks.
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