Huygens’ Hofwijck

Specialist Picks • 11 Mar 2020

Huygens’ Hofwijck

by Meghan Dansie

Join us every Wednesday as we survey the horological landscape around the world. From museums in Switzerland to sundials in India, we’ll be drawing attention to locations that ought to be on every horologists list of places to visit. View all entries here.

Location: Voorburg, Netherlands

Just a short, ten-minute train trip from the legal centre of The Hague, you will find Voorburg. Once home to the holiday houses of the Dutch Golden Age elite, Voorburg still houses something uniquely special. Commissioned by influential poet, politician and philosopher Constantijn Huygens and later lived in by his son, scientist Christiaan Huygens, Huygens’ Hofwijck is a must for those who love their horology with a side of national history.


Closely intertwined with the Dutch House of Orange, the Huygens had money to spend, and the surviving collection of their paintings, artefacts and expensive scientific instruments gives a fascinating insight into the thoughts and tastes of the Dutch Golden Age. If you are interested in the science and history of time-telling, then you will particularly enjoy the house’s large collection of Christiaan’s astronomical instruments.

Christiaan Huygens by Caspar Netscher, Museum Boerhaave, Leiden

Living and working at Hofwijck for the last seven years of his life, Christiaan Huygens dedicated many of the hours he spent within the house’s walls to the pursuit of optical invention and astronomical observation. Easily accessible by public transport, Huygens’ Hofwijck allows you to see the inventions that made possible Huygens’ discovery of Saturn’s rings, its moon, Titan, and the formulation of his wave theory of light.


Oh, and did we mention that he invented the pendulum clock in 1656? Based on his contributions to horology alone – a visit to his house is a must for all watch enthusiasts.The yellow shutters and classic Dutch architecture of Huygens’ Hofwijck, as well as its location on the Vliet Canal – which runs from Leiden to Delft – is enough to make you want it as your modern escape to the country. But don’t be fooled by its quaint appearance – new residents have a lot to live up to.

Located at: Westeinde 2A, 2275 AD Voorburg, Netherlands

Opening Hours: January – December 12.00pm – 17.00pm (Tues/Wed/Thurs/Sat/Sun)

Additional Information:

Tags: horological travel guide

We’re here to help

Loading Consult A Specialist Form

Change Country

Select your country:


Share via:

To find out more about our available positions, please visit our Careers page.