Ruins in Netherlands

Valkenburg Castle Ruins

In the year 1115, fortifications were erected at the site by Gosewijn I, Lord of Valkenburg. This original wooden keep survived until 1122 when it was destroyed under siege by Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor. The castle was rebuilt in the following centuries but was again destroyed in a siege, this time by Jan III, Duke of Brabant. The current ruins are those of the castle rebuilt in the 14th century. The castle was blown up ...
Founded: 1115 | Location: Valkenburg, Netherlands

Brederode Castle Ruins

Brederode castle was founded in the second half of the 13th century by William I van Brederode (1215–1285). William was a descendant of the lords van Teylingen, who were related to the counts of Holland. The castle formed part of the high lordship Brederode, which had been given in loan in the 13th century to the lords of Brederode by the count of Holland. The name Brederode is a reference to a wooded area called Brede ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Santpoort-Zuid, Netherlands

Wageningen Castle Ruins

Because of its strategic location Wageningen was granted city rights as early as the 13th century. To strengthen the city Duke Charles of Guelders built a castle shortly after 1500. An imposing 17th-century model of the fortified town with its moat, walls, towers and castle makes up the centerpiece of the history room of the museum. After the destruction of the castle by French troops in 1672 the then lord of the castle, ...
Founded: 1500-1526 | Location: Wageningen, Netherlands

Broerekerk Ruins

The Broerekerk was built as part of a Franciscan monastery founded in 1270. The church was built in two phases, starting in 1281, and was probably completed in 1313, which makes it the oldest building in Bolsward. It"s a three-aisled pseudo-basilica in simple Gothic style. On the north side the gable of a pseudo-transept can just be seen. The facade is the richest part of the church, and is decorated with a climbing ...
Founded: 1281 | Location: Bolsward, Netherlands

Kleef castle Ruins

The Huis ter Kleef castle was probably built in the late 13th century. In 1403 it was given to Margaret of Cleves (c.1375-1411), and has since retained that name. During the Siege of Haarlem in 1572 it was the headquarters of the Spanish army, under the leadership of the duke of Alva. It was blown up in 1573 and badly damaged, the rubble was used for city expansion. The house nearby with a tower called the 'Kaatsbaan ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Haarlem, 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

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

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

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

Den Ham Castle

Den Ham Castle, locally known as Kasteel Den Ham or Hamtoren was built probably in the 14th century (the lower part of tower and the great hall have survived). In the 19th century the castle was already mainly demolished. The castle has stood empty for quite some years but is now privately inhabited and can thus not be visited.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Vleuten-De Meern, Netherlands

Jansgeleen Castle Ruins

Jansgeleen Castle, built as House Spaubeek at a bench in the small Geleen river in the 13th century, was the first seat of the former County of Geleen in the 16th century. It got its name Heer Jansgelene after one of the former owners, Lord Jan Rode van Opsinnich in the 15th century, but was later erroneously renamed as Sint Jansgeleen after St. John the Baptist. The castle, already in a bad shape at the end of the 19th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Spaubeek, 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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.