Medieval castles in Netherlands

Genhoes Castle

Genhoes Castle was first mentioned in 1041. Then it was probably just a fortified tower house. In 1381 it was owned by a Johan van Alden-Valkenborch. Before 1444 it came into the hands of Jan "t Zievel. He left it to his son-in-law Hendrik van Ghoor. He, or his son Willem, probably built the present square tower and the west wing. The walls of the tower are around 1.6 meters thick. He also built a gate tower, which h ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Oud Valkenburg, Netherlands

Landsfort Herle

Landsfort Herle was a fortification with moat. It was probably built by the counts van Ahr-Hochstaden (also referd to as Here van Are). The name Landsfort (‘fort of the land’) comes from the fact that the fortification come under the responsibility of the land. In the 13th century Heerlen, and thus also Landsfort Herle, come in to the possession of the Dukes of Brabant, the Landsfort was (re)built by the Dukes ...
Founded: 1244 | 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

Doddendael Castle

Doddendael Castle is a medieval castle surrounded by a moat built in the 1430s. The castle had already been in the possession of various families when the Van Stepraedt family bought it in 1489 for 4,000 gold guilders. In 1526 they sold Doddendael to Duke Charles of Gelre, who used it as a base. In that same year, people of Nijmegen went on the rampage by boat, plundering the castle and setting it on fire. In 1528 the Van ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ewijk, 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

Nemerlaer Castle

Nemerlaer Castle is a 14th-century castle named after the river Nemer and after Laer which means clearing in the forest. It was first mentioned in 1303, as home of Knight Geerlinck van den Bossche. Currently the castle is still inhabited. In the basement is a café. In addition there are cultural and public activities, such as exhibitions and concerts. The castle is also used for weddings.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Haaren, Netherlands

Schonauwen Castle Ruins

Schonauwen Castle was established in 1261 and demolished in 1812. The oldest plan is known from 1646, when it was a square form moated building enclosed from the three sides. Today only a tower has survived.
Founded: 1261 | Location: Houten, 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

Hindersteyn Castle

Hindersteyn Castle was built originally around 1300. The original tower still exists, but the main building dates mainly from the 19th century.
Founded: 1300 | Location: Langbroek, 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

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

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

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

Bleijenbeek Castle Ruins

Bleijenbeek Castle was built of bricks around 1300. According to the 19th-century historian A.J. van der Aa, the castle is known for its numerous sieges by the armies of Guelders and Spain. In 1580, the castle was besieged by the forces of Guelders, but it was defended bravely by the lord of the castle, Marten Schenk. When the Duke of Parma sent cavalry, the besieging army had to retreat. In 1589, Schenk changed sides, an ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Afferden, 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

Nyenbeek Castle Ruins

Nyenbeek (Nijenbeek Castle) was built in the early 1300s. The oldest document of castle dates from 1266. In the 14th century the original keep was enlarged to a square castle. Later Nyenbeek castle started to decay. Between 18th-20th centuries it was rebuilt again several times, but today only a keep remains.
Founded: c. 1310 | Location: Voorst, 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

Blankenborg Castle Ruins

Blankenborg Castle was built in the 15th century. Today only one corner tower and fragments remain.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Beuningen, Netherlands

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora (Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) is a 17th-century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon. It is one of the most important monasteries and mannerist buildings in the country. The monastery also contains the royal pantheon of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

The original Monastery of São Vicente de Fora was founded around 1147 by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, for the Augustinian Order. The Monastery, built in Romanesque style outside the city walls, was one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Portugal. It is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics were brought from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century.

The present buildings are the result of a reconstruction ordered by King Philip II of Spain, who had become King of Portugal (as Philip I) after a succession crisis in 1580. The church of the monastery was built between 1582 and 1629, while other monastery buildings were finished only in the 18th century. The author of the design of the church is thought to be the Italian Jesuit Filippo Terzi and/or the Spaniard Juan de Herrera. The plans were followed and modified by Leonardo Turriano, Baltazar Álvares, Pedro Nunes Tinoco and João Nunes Tinoco.

The church of the Monastery has a majestic, austere façade that follows the later Renaissance style known as Mannerism. The façade, attributed to Baltazar Álvares, has several niches with statues of saints and is flanked by two towers (a model that would become widespread in Portugal). The lower part of the façade has three arches that lead to the galilee (entrance hall). The floorplan of the church reveals a Latin cross building with a one-aisled nave with lateral chapels. The church is covered by barrel vaulting and has a huge dome over the crossing. The general design of the church interior follows that of the prototypic church of Il Gesù, in Rome.

The beautiful main altarpiece is a Baroque work of the 18th century by one of the best Portuguese sculptors, Joaquim Machado de Castro. The altarpiece has the shape of a baldachin and is decorated with a large number of statues. The church also boasts several fine altarpieces in the lateral chapels.

The Monastery buildings are reached through a magnificent baroque portal, located beside the church façade. Inside, the entrance is decorated with blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery, including scenes of the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. The ceiling of the room has an illusionistic painting executed in 1710 by the Italian Vincenzo Baccarelli. The sacristy of the Monastery is exuberantly decorated with polychromed marble and painting. The cloisters are also notable for the 18th century tiles that recount fables of La Fontaine, among other themes.

In 1834, after the religious orders were dissolved in Portugal, the monastery was transformed into a palace for the archbishops of Lisbon. Some decades later, King Ferdinand II transformed the monks' old refectory into a pantheon for the kings of the House of Braganza. Their tombs were transferred from the main chapel to this room.