Medieval castles in 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

St. Salvius Church

The oldest mural paintings in the Netherlands are hidden in a beautiful church on the outskirts of Sittard-Geleen. It might be somewhat confusing that there are two churches with the same name in the same village, but you can probably skip the new church in the centre that was built in 1922. The church replaced the ancient one at the castle, which you definitely shouldn"t miss if you"re in the region. The histo ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Limbricht, 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

Teylingen Castle Ruins

Slot Teylingen was presumably the family keep of the noble family Van Teylingen, from which the Van Brederode family directly descended. The castle was originally built to protect the north-south route in Hollandic territory. Later it became a forester"s castle for the forestry of the counts of Holland, starting with William IV, count of Holland. One of the best known inhabitants of the castle was Jacoba of Bavaria, ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sassenheim, 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

Batenburg Castle Ruins

Batenburg Castle construction was probably started around the year 1300. The castle was rebuilt in 1600 on the foundations of an earlier structure; The present castle was destroyed by fire in 1795 and is now preserved as ruins: the ring wall with towers, the remains of three extended round towers with a basement underneath and the remains of the gatehouse. These are flanked by semicircular towers, all built with limestone ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Batenburg, Netherlands

Heusden Castle Ruins

The settlement of Heusden, bordering on the river Meuse (Maas), as we know it today dates back to the 13th century, and started with the construction of a fortification to replace the castle that was destroyed by the Duke of Brabant in 1202. This fortification was quickly expanded with water works and a donjon (castle keep). The city of Heusden received city rights in 1318. The castle of Heusden was the property of succes ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Heusden, 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

Beesde Castle

The Beesde Castle was first mentioned in 1395. Today it consists of two parts: a 14th century tower and 17th century manor called Cammingha house.
Founded: 1395 | Location: Bunnik, 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

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

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

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

Brakel Castle

The earliest mention of Brakel Castle dates from the mid-13th century. At that time, it was a square, moated castle, situated close to the village of Brakel behind the newly-built Waaldijk dike. In 1321, the castle was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire. This led the knight Sir Eustachius van Brakel to lend his castle to the Count of Guelders in exchange for the count’s protection. Unfortunately, this was not ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Brakel, 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 hill ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Mheer, Netherlands

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.