Castles and fortifications in Netherlands

Ter Worm Castle

Ter Worm or Terworm Castle has existed since the 14th century and has been inhabited by several noble families. Originally it was a square building, fronted by a round tower and a rectangular tower and built around a walled courtyard. The first known owner was the Lord of Strijthagen in 1476, when the castle was a moated building fortified by external walls outside the moat. In 1498 the castle came into possession of the ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Heerlen, Netherlands

Haamstede Castle

Haamstede Castle (Slot Haamstede) was built originally in the 12th century and it probably consisted of a wooden keep on a motte, circled by a moat. There is also archeological evidence of Roman habitation on this site. Around 1200 this castle came into the possession of Floris IV, Count of Holland. In 1229 the castle went to the Lords of Zierikzee through an exchange with Floris IV. The new inhabitants of the castle call ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Burgh-Haamstede, Netherlands

Eijsden Castle

Eijsden Castle is a moated manor house with several farm buildings, a gatehouse and castle park, in Eijsden-Margraten, Limburg, Netherlands. The current castle was built in 1636, renovated in 1767, and restored between 1881-1886. The castle is made up out of two angled wings with at the outside corner a heavy cornertower flanked by a small stair tower. At the end of the eastwing Athere is another towerlike building contai ...
Founded: 1636 | Location: Eijsden, Netherlands

Deurne Small Castle

The predecessor of Deurne Castle, so-called 'small castle' is on the other side of the road. The small castle is originally medieval, but in the 19th century it was extended. Near the castle you will find a watermill.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Deurne, Netherlands

Deurne Castle

Deurne Castle was built shortly before 1387 by Gevaert Everaertszoon van Doerne on a sandy elevation in the swampy valley of a small stream the Vlier. It was a square building with several turrets. Due to the thickness of the walls it probably didn"t have a real military purpose. In 1511 the castle was burned down by the Geldersen but was rebuilt. Only to be plundered by Spanish troops in 1599. In 1645 the bailiff O ...
Founded: c. 1387 | Location: Deurne, Netherlands

Oude Loo Castle

The Oude Loo castle was built in the 15th century. In 1684, the castle and the surrounding land was bought by William III of Orange. On this land, he had Het Loo Palace built. The castle was used by the court, among other things as an apothecary. In the 19th century the castle came in the hands of Louis Napoleon who filled up the moat. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands had the castle and the moat restored by architect P ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Fort Pannerden

Fort Pannerden was constructed between 1869 and 1871 to serve as part of the New Dutch Waterline. Originally built completely out of brick and mortar, with just one main battery guarding the Rhine, it was upgraded significantly during 1885-1895. The main battery was completely rebuilt, with armour and concrete, while two additional armoured batteries were added and the roof of the fort was reinforced with concrete. The fo ...
Founded: 1869-1871 | Location: Doornenburg, Netherlands

Wijenburg Castle

Wijenburg was an important castle in the Duchy of Guelders and the Lords of Echteld who lived in the castle enjoyed great prestige until there was a disagreement between the Duke of Guelders and Lord Otto van Wijhe in 1492. At the beginning of the 20th century, the castle was saved from demolition by Baron Van Verschuer and restored by Stichting Geldersche Kasteelen national heritage foundation. The history of Wijenburg ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Echteld, Netherlands

Stapelen Castle

The castle in Stapelen was first time mentioned in 1293 when it was donated to Willem I van Boxtel. Hendrik Mahie restored the castle in the 19th century to the current Neo-Gothic appearance. The oldest parts of the castle, like the octagonal tower, date from the Middle Ages and the walls from the 16th century. The chapel has a altar from the 17th century. Today Stapelen castle is a monastery.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Boxtel, Netherlands

Kinkelenburg Castle

The earliest mention of Kinkelenburg castle dates from 1403, when Johan van Ambe was lent "a house and a homestead with waterways and moat at Bemmel". The castle probably consisted then of a square stone tower-house (built around 1300), the foundations of which lie beneath the present building. Soon afterwards, the status of village castle was changed to the present "Huis te Bemmel". Kinkelenburg was c ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Bemmel, Netherlands

Henkenshage Castle

Henkenshage may look like a medieval castle but it is not. Although it was built during the 14th century under the name Hanekenshage it was just a simple building. During the 15th century it was also known under the name Strijpe or Streepen. In 1748 Henkenshage Castle was sold to Willem, Baron of Haren. In 1801 it was fitted as a convent for Augustinian nuns. Around 1850 the castle was bought by Pieter J. de Girard de M ...
Founded: 19th century | Location: Sint-Oedenrode, Netherlands

Waldeck Bastion

Bastion Waldeck was built in 1690 and the star-shaped fort was heavily remodifed in 1773-1777. However there has been fortifications also before; the most well-known incident on the site was the death of D"Artagnan (one of The Three Musketeers written by Alexandre Dumas in 1844) during the siege of Maastricht in 1673.
Founded: 1690 | Location: Maastricht, Netherlands

Rhoon Castle

Rhoon Castle as we know today was built in 1430 by Pieter the Seventh of Duiveland. He was a descendant of Biggo van Duiveland, who built the original castle which dated back to 1199. The coats of arms of the many illustrious families who lived in the castle can be seen in the stained-glass windows in the Catharina Theresia Room. Thoroughly restored in 1975, the castle is now regarded as one of the most beautiful restaura ...
Founded: 1430 | Location: Rhoon, Netherlands

Sluis Fortress

After the creation of the Zwin channel during a violent storm in 1134, a settlement known as Lamminsvliet grew up at the place where it met the Scheldt estuary. It was first fortified towards the end of the 14th century, at which time the town began to be known by its current name, Sluis. These fortifications included a flooded ditch'running around the town, three gates and a large castle on the north side. Sluis prospere ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Sluis, Netherlands

Nederhemert Castle

Nederhemert Castle has been built, rebuilt and expanded numerous times throughout its turbulent history. It started life as a keep in the 13th century and was expanded into a polygonal castle with four towers over several centuries. In 1945, the castle was destroyed by fire and fell into ruin. It was restored to its former glory in 2005. Nederhemert castle is situated on an ancient bend in the river Maas. As with many ca ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Nederhemert, Netherlands

Defence Line of Amsterdam

The UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Defence Line of Amsterdam (in Dutch named Stelling van Amsterdam) is a 135 km long ring of fortifications around Amsterdam, consisting of 42 forts located between 10 to 15 kilometers from the centre, and lowlands that can easily be flooded in time of war. The flooding was designed to give a depth of about 30 cm, insufficient for boats to traverse. Any buildings within 1 km of th ...
Founded: 1880-1920 | Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Waardenburg Castle

Waardenburg Castle dates from the 13th century. Only half of the original building remains: the south wing was destroyed in the Eighty Years’ War and was never rebuilt. Legend has it that the infamous Doctor Faust lived in the castle. At the end of his pact with the devil he was said to have been thrown from the castle tower. The precise construction date of medieval castles is seldom known yet in this case, Waardenbur ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Waardenburg, Netherlands

Mheer Castle

A stone house on the site of current Mheer Castle was first mentioned in 1314. It was probably built long before that, because the Lords of Mheer were already mentioned around 1100. In the 14th century the castle went to the Van Imstenraedt family through marriage. The castle stayed in this family until 1668, then it went to the De Loë family. They still own the castle. The castle is situated against the slope of a ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Mheer, Netherlands

Ravelijn op den Zoom

The 'Ravelijn op den Zoom' (ravelin) is the last remnant of the fortifications designed by Menno van Coehoorn. The ravelin consists of a island with earthen and stone walls, surrounded by a wide moat. The ravelin is one of the few remaining parts of the extensive fortification system around the city. The fortress was so ingeniously designed that it was assumed that it could not be taken and therefore got the nic ...
Founded: 1702 | Location: Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands

Fort Voordorp

Fort Voordorp was built between 1867-1871 as a part of the Netherlands water defence line. Today it is used for events and conferences.
Founded: 1867-1871 | Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château de Fougères

The Château de Fougères is an impressive castle with curtain wall and 13 towers. It had three different enclosures, first for defensive purposes, second for day to day usages in peacetime and for safety of the surrounding populations in times of siege, the last enclosure was where the keep was situated.

The first wooden fort was built by the House of Amboise in the 11th century. It was destroyed in 1166 after it was besieged and taken by King Henry II of England. It was immediately rebuilt by Raoul II Baron de Fougères. Fougères was not involved in the Hundred Years' War until 1449 when the castle was taken by surprise by an English mercenary. In 1488 the French troops won the castle back after a siege and the castle lost its military role.

In the late 18th century the castle was turned into a prison. The owner in this period was the Baron Pommereul. In the 19th century the outer ward became an immense landscaped garden. A museum was established in the Mélusine Tower. During the Industrial Revolution, a shoe factory set up shop in the castle grounds.

The City of Fougères took ownership of the Château in 1892. It had been a listed Historical Monument since 1862. A major campaign was launched to clean up the castle walls. While the castle had retained many of its original features, some of the curtain walls needed to be cleared and certain sections required major repairs. The changes made in the 18th century were "reversed," and the castle was finally open to visitors. The first campaign of archaeological excavations, conducted in 1925, unearthed the ruins of the manor house.

Since then, the Château de Fougères has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors every year. The castle's excellent state of conservation, and the historical interest of its architecture, make Fougères an invaluable window onto the Middle Ages. From great lords to simple builders, generations of inhabitants have left their mark on these walls.