Medieval castles 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

Hellenburg Castle Ruins

Hellenburg Castle was probably built around 1300. After some renovations and additions, which took place in the 14th and 15th century, the castle got its final shape in 1450. The castle was lost as a result of a flooding caused by a storm disaster in 1477. In the 17th century nothing more remained than a ruin. These ruins were demolished in the 18th century, its stones used as building materials by the villagers of Baarla ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Baarland, 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

Strijen Castle Ruins

All that remains of the former Strijen Castle is a single tower fragment of seven storeys high. The building of Strijen Castle probably started in 1288 by Willem Willemszoon van Strijen. Strangely enough the bailey was situated on the territory of the County of Holland and the castle itself on the territory of the Duchy of Brabant. In 1324 the castle was bought by Willem van Duivenvoorde who reinforced and renovated it. W ...
Founded: 1288 | Location: Oosterhout, 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

Heemstede Castle Ruins

Heemstede castle was first built in 1280 by Dirk van Hoylede from the region of Vlaardingen. Built, burned and rebuilt over the centuries, it was last torn down in 1810, after years of neglect. The monumental gatekeeper"s house "Nederhuys", built in 1630 remains intact as well as the foundations from the Middle Ages. The most famous owner of the castle was Adriaan Pauw, who bought it in 1620. He played a ro ...
Founded: 1280 | Location: Heemstede, 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

Waardenborg Castle Ruins

Waardenborg Castle was built around 1378. It had two towers, a gatehouse and it was surrounded by a moat. The castle was demolished around 1530.
Founded: c. 1378 | Location: Rijssen-Holten, Netherlands

Goudenstein Castle Ruins

When Goudenstein Castle was built and by whom is unknown. On the basis of the stone sizes it was probably built in the beginning of the 14th century. In 1609 the Van Brederode family inherited the castle. At that time it probably existed of 4 residential wings with round towers on the outer corners. In 1672 the castle was destroyed by the French troops after which the remnants were demolished and taken away as building m ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Haaften, Netherlands

Hatert Manor

Until recently very little was known about the building history of Huis Hatert. The tower was probably built in the second half of the 14th century. The west and south sides of the building show signs of walls that were once attached to the tower, which makes it likely that the tower used to form a part of a greater complex and that it served as a gate tower located on one of the corners of a lager castle. Its relatively ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Nijmegen, 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

Het Steen

Het Steen is a medieval fortress in the old city centre of Antwerp. Built after the Viking incursions in the early Middle Ages as the first stone fortress of Antwerp, Het Steen is Antwerp's oldest building and used to be its oldest urban centre.

Previously known as Antwerpen Burcht (fortress), Het Steen gained its current name in around 1520, after significant rebuilding under Charles V. The fortress made it possible to control the access to the Scheldt, the river on whose bank it stands. It was used as a prison between 1303 and 1827. The largest part of the fortress, including dozens of historic houses and the oldest church of the city, was demolished in the 19th century when the quays were straightened to stop the silting up of the Scheldt. The remaining building, heavily changed, contains a shipping museum, with some old canal barges displayed on the quay outside.

In 1890 Het Steen became the museum of archeology and in 1952 an annex was added to house the museum of Antwerp maritime history, which in 2011 moved to the nearby Museum Aan de Stroom. Here you’ll also find a war memorial to the Canadian soldiers in WWII.

There are some beautiful plaques on the back side of the Steen Castle at Antwerp. Canadian visitors will especially want to see the plaques thanking the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry for their part in the liberation of Antwerp, in 1944.

At the entrance to Het Steen is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway, around 2nd century. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility (with symbolic phallus). A historical plaque near Het Steen explains that women of the town appealed to Semini when they desired children; the god was reviled by later religious clergy. Inhabitants of Antwerp previously referred to themselves as 'children of Semini'.

At the entrance bridge to the castle is a statue of a giant and two humans. It depicts the giant Lange Wapper who used to terrorise the inhabitants of the city in medieval times.