Colonies of Benevolence

Straight paths and a grid of main and side roads. Colonial homes. Westerbeek House of the Society of Benevolence. In Frederiksoord you can still find many traces of the two hundred year old Colony of Benevolence. 1818.

Johannes van den Bosch and his Society of Benevolence want to offer paupers in the Netherlands the prospect of a better life. The Company therefore establishes Colonies of Benevolence. The first Colony is called Frederiksoord. King Willem I supports the initiative, which is gaining international interest. In Frederiksoord we tell the story of the Colonies and you will discover the many traces of the old Colony while walking, cycling or riding. You can also see how the landscape and the buildings have evolved.

Welcome to the oldest Colony of Benevolence! Frederiksoord was in 1818 where Johannes van den Bosch offered new opportunities with urban blanks by King Willem de I’s carte blanche.

The start of a major social experiment that is still visible in the landscape and the buildings in this Colony. Museum De Proefkolonie was opened in the spring of 2019. Here you will experience through a multimedia journey through time the origins of the Colonies of Benevolence and the real story of the first settlers who found a new future in Frederiksoord in 1818.

The museum is located in the Visitor Center House of Benevolence. (Major Van Swietenlaan 1A in Frederiksoord).