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

Church of Our Lady before Týn

The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague and has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's towers are 80 m high and topped by four small spires.

In the 11th century, this area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built there for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. Later it was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in 1256. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. By the beginning of the 15th century, construction was almost complete; only the towers, the gable and roof were missing. The church was controlled by Hussites for two centuries, including John of Rokycan, future archbishop of Prague, who became the church's vicar in 1427. The roof was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). His sculpture was placed on the gable, below a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. The southern tower was not completed until 1511, under architect Matěj Rejsek.

After the lost Battle of White Mountain (1620) began the era of harsh recatholicisation (part of the Counter-Reformation). Consequently, the sculptures of 'heretic king' George of Poděbrady and the chalice were removed in 1626 and replaced by a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, with a giant halo made from by melting down the chalice. In 1679 the church was struck by lightning, and the subsequent fire heavily damaged the old vault, which was later replaced by a lower baroque vault.

Renovation works carried out in 1876–1895 were later reversed during extensive exterior renovation works in the years 1973–1995. Interior renovation is still in progress.

The northern portal is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion. The main entrance is located on the church's western face, through a narrow passage between the houses in front of the church.

The early baroque altarpiece has paintings by Karel Škréta from around 1649. The oldest pipe organ in Prague stands inside this church. The organ was built in 1673 by Heinrich Mundt and is one of the most representative 17th-century organs in Europe.