Castles and fortifications in Netherlands

Heukelum Castle

Heukelum Castle, also known for a long time as Merckenburg, is situated just outside the old fortified town of Heukelum on the border of Gelderland and South Holland. The illustrious Van Arkel family had the castle built in around 1286. It was once a sturdy castle with towers, a courtyard, a double moat and a fortified bailey. Nowadays, it has the appearance of an 18th-century country house. The reason why Jan van Arkel h ...
Founded: 1286 | Location: Heukelum, Netherlands

Croy Castle

The oldest parts of the Croy castle were probably built in the 15th century. There is not much known about the history of the castle. Jacob van Croÿ, Bishop of Cambrai was in 1477 owner of the land, but a house is not mentioned. In the 16th century villages in the neighbourhood were several times demolished, probably also the castle (but this is not recorded). The last inhabitant was Freule (Lady) Constance van der ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Aarle-Rixtel, Netherlands

Moermond Castle

The first Moermond Castle was built between 1229-1244, and it was rebuilt around 1339. The current appearance dates mainly from the restoration made in 1513. Today the moat-surrounded castle is a hotel and conference center.
Founded: 1229-1513 | Location: Renesse, Netherlands

Nederhorst Castle

Philips van Wassenaar (died in 1225) is considered to have been the founder of Nederhorst Castle. In the 17th century the baron Godard van Reede had the Reevaart dug so that his visitors could disembark in front of the castle when arriving by boat. The castle was thoroughly rennovated in the 18th century, and reminders of this period can still be seen on the south side. After 1945 the castle fell into a serious state of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Nederhorst den Berg, Netherlands

Skierstins

The Skierstins is a medieval stone house built around 1300. It is the only remaining Stienhús in Friesland and is listed as Rijksmonument. The building is first mentioned in 1439 on a piece of parchment.
Founded: 1300 | Location: Feanwâlden, Netherlands

Dommelrode Castle

Dommelrode Castle was built in 1605 by the sheriff of the Peelland quarter. It has long been a monastery, but today it serves as the city hall of Sint-Oedenrode.
Founded: 1605 | Location: Sint-Oedenrode, Netherlands

Moersbergen Castle

Moersbergen Castle was built in the 14th century, but it was first mentionedi n 1435. Since the 16th century it has been rebuilt several times. In 1927 it was restored to the 18th century style. Today Moersbergen is a private residence.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Doorn, Netherlands

Ophemert Castle

The oldest record of Ophemert Castle dates from 1265, when it was owned by Rudolf de Cocq. The castle belonged to De Cocq (later Haeften) family until 1844. The current building dates mainly fromt he 17th century, when it was rebuilt after the attack of French Army. Today it is privately owned by the Mackay family.
Founded: 17th century | Location: Ophemert, Netherlands

Tongelaar Castle

The first mention of the Tongelaar Castle on this site dates from 1282 when it was dedicated to Count Floris V by Jan van Cuyk. The Van Cuyk family was probably owner of the castle until somewhere in the 15th century when it was owned by the Van Merwick family. In later centuries ownership of the castle passed through several noble Dutch and Belgian families until the 20th century. The only medieval part of Tongelaar Cas ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Mill, Netherlands

Lunenburg Castle

Lunenburg Castle was first mentioned in 1339 and it was probably owned by the Van Zijl family. The tower house itself was first mentioned in 1400. In 1402 it was given as a fief to Ghijsbrecht van Lockhorst. In 1680 Lunenburg Castle was enlarged with residential wings and stables which were built against the medieval tower house. In 1860 the owner at that time, a member of the Van Swinderen family, rebuilt the castle. Th ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Langbroek, Netherlands

Rechteren Castle

Rechteren Castle was built in the 13th century, however today only the 30 meter high tower remains of this first castle. The current appeance dates from the early 14th century. Today the castle is still occupied by the Van Heeckerens family which has been in possession of the castle since the 1300s. Throughout the century, the castle has undergone numerous renovations and has been rebuilt due to siege. With 40 rooms and ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dalfsen, Netherlands

Poelwijk Castle

Poelwijk Castle was mentioned in 1275, when it was owned by the Van Poelwijck family from Gendt. The tower is all that remains of Poelwijk Castle today. It dates back to the 15th century. This tower was originally the gate tower of the castle. In 1441 Poelwijk Castle was first mentioned as a fief from the Duke of Gelre and was inhabited by the Collart family. In 1551 the castle again came into the possession of the Van P ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Gendt, Netherlands

Bethlehem Castle

Bethlehem Castle was built in the 13th century. In 1311 it became to possession of Teutonic Knights, who named the castle after Bethlehem in Holy Land. In 1796 the castle was confiscated by French revolutionary army and sold to the private hands again. Today the castle is a Hotel Management School.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Maastricht, Netherlands

Loon op Zand Castle

Loon op Zand Castle was built in 1777 to the grounds of medieval fort. It was made of bricks and painted white. It is surrounded by a moat.
Founded: 1777 | Location: Loon op Zand, Netherlands

Drakensteyn Castle

Drakensteyn is a small castle constructed in the years 1640–1643 for a Gerard van Reede Läm. A house called Drakesteijn at this location was first mentioned in 1359. It is owned by Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the country"s former Queen who abdicated in 2013. Beatrix bought the castle in 1959, when she was the heir to the Dutch throne, and took up residence in 1963. After her marriage in 1966 she c ...
Founded: 1640-1643 | Location: Lage Vuursche, Netherlands

Fort Nieuwersluis

Fort Nieuwersluis was built between 1849-1851 and was later (1880) enlarged as part of the so-called New Dutch Water line.
Founded: 1849-1851 | Location: Nieuwersluis, Netherlands

Wisch Castle

Wisch Castle is an imposing building with a striking L shape which particularly reflects its history of division and reunification. The castle was home to the Wisch family, who were part of the most powerful nobility in the county. It is still privately owned and was recently completely restored. The lords of Wisch belonged to the four bannerets, the most powerful nobility in the County of Zutphen. The predecessor of Wis ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Terborg, Netherlands

Zwijnsbergen Castle

The original Zwijnsbergen Castle was a fortified manor in the Middle ages. The oldest parts of the current castle were built in the mid-1400s. The tower dates from around 1552. The current main building was erected in the 17th century and restored in 1817. Today Zwijnsbergen castle is privately owned.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Helvoirt, Netherlands

Sabbinge Castle

Sabbinge Castle was built around 1250. It was destroyed and rebuilt in 1321. Today it is privately owned.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Oud-Sabbinge, 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.