Castles and fortifications in Netherlands

Heeze Castle

Heeze Castle used to be the centre of the seigneury of Heeze, Leende and Zesgehuchten, part of the Duchy of Brabant. In the Middle Ages, it was owned by the de Horne family. In the seventeenth Century Pieter Post designed a new castle, of which the first part was built in 1665. Pieter Post had died and the work was completed by his son Maurits Post. Due to the rising costs of importing all building materials from other r ...
Founded: 1665 | Location: Heeze, Netherlands

Twickel Castle

Twickel Castle was between 1347-1953 in the possession of members of the same family: Van Twickelo, Van Raesfelt, Van Wassenaer Obdam and Van Heeckeren van Wassenaer.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Delden, Netherlands

Geldrop Castle

The first owners of the Geldrop castle were Jan and Philip van Geldrop, who probably built it in 1350. The following century the castle remained in the Van Geldrop family. The construction of the present day castle was started in 1616, when Amandus I van Horne had the middle facade built. There is still a door post in the castle that reminds us of him. It holds the coats of arms of this illustrous family. In 1768 the hei ...
Founded: 1616 | Location: Geldrop, Netherlands

Rosendael Castle

Around 1300, Rosendael Castle came into the hands of the counts and later dukes of Gelre. Of the 20 castles in the dukedom, Rosendael was the favourite of many dukes, because of its beautiful location on the edge of the Veluwe moraine. The large medieval complex contained a forecourt, a main fortress and a substantial donjon. Only the round donjon has survived the ravages of time. It has walls of up to 4 metres thick and ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Rozendaal, Netherlands

Ammersoyen Castle

Ammersoyen castle was originally built in 1350 by Dirk van Herlaer along the river Maas. Ammersoyen was a unique castle as it was built using a fixed plan, which was unlike other castles built during this era. The design included four wings that were constructed around a center court. Each corner had its own heavy tower for extra protection. The castle included a gatehouse and was originally surrounded by a moat. At the t ...
Founded: 1350s | Location: Ammerzoden, Netherlands

Keverberg Castle

Keverberg castle was built originally in the 9th century castle, today only ruins are left. The castle is used as a wedding location and for events and concerts.
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Kessel, Netherlands

Bouvigne Castle

Bouvigne Castle origins are not known. It appears in official documents for the first time in 1554, in the testament Jacob van Brecht. Here it is described as a stately stone building surrounded by water. Over time the castle has been extended. It began as a stone house to which a tower was added (between 1554 and 1611). Over the following three years further modifications were made to the building and the tower extended ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Breda, Netherlands

Fort Rhijnauwen

Fort Rhijnauwen was built between 1868 and 1875 as part of the New Dutch Water Defence Line. Because of its architectural style and good state of preservation, the fort is historically unique. Due it was closed to the general public for years it became a paradise for many endangered plants and animals. There are also weasels, foxes, roe, grass snakes and many varieties of butterflies. In winter, hundreds of bats hibernate ...
Founded: 1868-1875 | Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Doornenburg Castle

Originally the Doornenburg castle was a fortified manor built in the 9th century, under the name Villa Dorenburc. In the 13th century it was converted into a modest castle. Through the centuries the castle was expanded further into the current form. The front-castle was built in the 15th century. The front-castle contains sleeping quarters, a chapeland a farm, the last being a unique feature for a Dutch castle. It is one ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Doornenburg, Netherlands

Vorden Castle

Vorden castle was mentioned first time in 1315. In 1580 it was looted in the Eighty Years War. It was left to decay after the Second World War until restoration took place in 1976.
Founded: 1315 | Location: Vorden, Netherlands

Gunterstein Castle

Gunterstein is a castle in Breukelen, on the river Vecht, that was the former home of the rich Dutch widow Magdalena Poulle (1626–1699). She bought the property and associated title after the former castle and stronghold was destroyed by the French in the rampjaar 1672. Gunterstein castle was built in 1681 on the foundations of an earlier castle, by the architect Adriaan Dortsman (who also designed the new Lutheran ...
Founded: 1681 | Location: Breukelen, Netherlands

Westhove Castle

Westhove Castle was probably built in the beginning of the 13th century. It consisted of a moated castle and bailey separated by a moat. The bailey had three entrances and two round towers. The castle itself also had two towers. The castle and the surrounding lands became the property of the Abbey of Middelburg in 1277. It served as the summer residence of the abbots. Around 1560 the castle"s west side was extended. ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Oostkapelle, Netherlands

Menkemaborg

The Menkemaborg was originally brick-built castle house built in the 14th century. It was dramatically altered around 1700 but has since been barely changed. The Alberda family, the 18th-century occupants, commissioned artists to decorate the interior with impressive chimney-pieces carved with baroque ornaments, and paintings of mythological scenes. A four-poster bed, draped with yellow silk damask from China, has also be ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Uithuizen, Netherlands

Ruurlo Castle

The history of Ruurlo Castle is inextricable from the history of the noble Van Heeckeren family, who managed the castle and the estate from the beginning of the 15th century through to 1977. Since 2012, and thanks to the dedication of local patronHans Melchers, this impressive castle has been given a new lease of life as a museum. Ruurlo Castle is of a venerable age, appearing in archives from as early as the 14th centur ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Ruurlo, Netherlands

Hernen Castle

The origins of Hernen lie to the west of the present castle, next to the river Elst. That is where the first motte castle of Hernen was sited, and remained in use until the 12th/13th century. This was possibly also the fortress of the Lords of Hernen, who first appear in the records in 1247. The lord received income through taxes and special privileges, such as the milling rights. This income enabled him to extend his cas ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Hernen, Netherlands

Slangenburg Castle

Slangenburg Castle was constructed in the Late Medieval period. In the 17th century the castle became the property of General Frederik Johan van Baer, also known as General Slangenburg, who rebuilt it for residential purposes. The last private owners were a German family called Passmann, who are buried in a private cemetery next to the moat. After the World War II all German properties were confiscated by the Dutch gover ...
Founded: 1354 | Location: Doetinchem, Netherlands

Dussen Castle

Although the official date of the Dussen castle’s establishment was during the 13th century, there was likely a fortified house on the property long before the present-day castle. The castle’s dungeon was built in 1330 by John VI of Heusden and in 1387, permission was granted to extend the modest keep into a real castle. In 1418, the castle was passed down to Arent’s son. Just three years later, the castle would be ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dussen, Netherlands

Fort Ruigenhoek

Fort Ruigenhoek was built between 1869-1870 as part of the so-called Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie(The 'New Dutch Water Line') to defend the cities of the western Netherlands from overland attack.
Founded: 1869-1870 | Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Middachten Castle

Middachten Castle was first time mentioned in 1190, owned by Jacobus de Mithdac. Early in the 14th century Everardus van Steenre transferred its ownership to Reinald, count of Gelre. Everardus then got the castle back as a loan in 1357. The castle would remain with this family until 1625. During this time the castle was destroyed and rebuild several times. In 1673 Stadtholder William III conquered the city of Bonn, making ...
Founded: 1693-1698 | Location: De Steeg, Netherlands

Fort de Roovere

Fort De Roovere was part of the West Brabant Dutch Water Line. It is an earthen fort that goes through a wall (the Ligneweg) and is connected to Fort Pinssen. The fort is open from the ‘back’, and the ‘front’ consists of two bastions. The fort has a dry moat and the banks are overgrown with trees. In 1747, during the Austrian War of Succession (1740–1748) the fort was under siege by the Frenc ...
Founded: 1628 | Location: Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Erfurt Synagogue

The Erfurt Synagogue was built c. 1094. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. Thanks to the extensive preservation of the original structure, it has a special place in the history of art and architecture and is among the most impressive and highly rated architectural monuments in Erfurt and Thuringia. The synagogue was constructed during the Middle Ages on the via regia, one of the major European trade routes, at the heart of the historical old quarter very close to the Merchants Bridge and the town hall. Many parts of the structure still remain today, including all four thick outer walls, the Roman­esque gemel window, the Gothic rose window and the entrance to the synagogue room.

After extensive restoration, the building was reopened in 2009. On display in the exhibition rooms is an collection of medieval treasures discovered during archaeological excavations. This includes 3,140 silver coins, 14 silver ingots, approx. 6,000 works of goldsmithery from the 13th and 14th centuries and an intricately worked wedding ring of the period, of which only two others are known to exist anywhere in the world. A mikveh (Jewish bath) has been excavated close by (13th/14th century). The Old Synagogue, the Small Synagogue and two Jewish cemeteries together form a network of historical buildings and sites which vividly portray the role of Jewish life in the history of Erfurt.