Color Research Naarden

June 13, 2018

In Naarden-Vesting, by Monumentenbezit in collaboration with Josefien & Co, in May 2018, a color-historical research into the original color of exterior doors and shutters. The outcome of the archival research and the stratigraphic color research was surprising to say the least.

The Naarden Vesting consists of a 17th-century and a 19th-century section. This is because Naarden was rebuilt as a fortress after being besieged and destroyed by the Spanish in 1572. Another hundred years later, starting in 1672, the fortress was laid out in its present form and casemates were built on the bastions. Two hundred years later, the fortress was so outdated that a large-scale improvement was carried out. Over 21 new military buildings were built.  

Archival research shows that the fortress experienced three different finish colors for the exterior woodwork. The earliest color used was English red. This red color was used at the beginning of the 19th century. It is most likely that doors and shutters were also finished in this color in the late 17th century. Around 1860 through 1875, the exterior woodwork became dark gray. During the improvement of the fortress, a new color was introduced, namely dark chromate green combined with Bremer green. This mixture resulted in a dark, blue-green paint.  



Color Research


Josefien & Co.




Video maintenance Naarden-Vesting

Back to late 19th century greenery
The stratigraphic color survey was conducted on a door from a 17th-century casemate and on a door dating from after the 1877 improvement. This survey was consistent with the archival survey. On the oldest door, located in the casemate, a dark gray finish layer was was found over which a dark blue-green paint was applied. The same blue-green color was found on the 1877 door.

Currently, the Nieuwe Molen, Turfpoort and Promers bastions are painted in the "new" color. In stages, we are applying the new color to exterior doors and shutters throughout the fortress.

Want to learn more about the fortifications of Naarden? Take a look at the monuments page.

Also read about our other projects