The tiny 16.05 square kilometre town of Lisse is the jewel of the Dutch Bulb Region. It's definitely been around for at least 800 years, and it's possible the town is 1000 years old. In the 16th century, during times of strife, its tiny community of about 50 households survived on agriculture, animal husbandry, and peat harvesting. Later, it became gentrified with an influx of nobles and merchants and other upper class citizens in the 17th and 18th centuries. But when tulip mania hit, every possible inch of land was given over to cultivating the precious flower bulbs, and so far, this has been the land's greatest economic boon. It still drives the economy today.
The current castle, which is the other main attraction of the town, was built in 1642. In the 19th and 20th century, the castle was extended, redesigned and thoroughly renovated. The garden itself was laid down in 1849. Still, it wasn't until 100 years later that the fame of the gardens really took off.
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