Sterkenburg Castle was probably built in the mid-1200s as a moated round tower house by a Gijsbert van Wulven. The castle remained in the hands of the Van Wulven family until 1456 when it came into the possession of a Wouter van Ijzendoorn through marriage. It remained in their possession for the following hundred years. During their ownership the castle was rebuilt; a square tower was added and a curtain wall was built along the edges of the castle island creating a courtyard between the 2 towers and giving the castle a polygonal shape. Also the round tower was raised with extra floors.
In 1565 Sterkenburg Castle was owned by Reinier van Aeswijn, who was married to the last female Van Ijzendoorn descendant. He allowed a garrison of State troops to be quartered at the castle to protect it and the surrounding lands from the Spanish at the beginning of the 80-Years War. His son Antonie added a gatehouse to the bailey in 1626. In 1646 he left it to his nephew. This nephew however got murdered in the castle's woods in June 1647. This murder was never solved. The following decades Sterkenburg Castle changed ownership several times due to inheritance issues after a couple of untimely deaths.
In 1725 however the castle was bought by a member of the Mamuchet family. This family didn't live in the castle and it was rented out.
In 1741 the, by then decayed, castle was obtained by a member of the Van Westrenen family. The second Van Westrenen partially rebuild the castle's south side, opening up the courtyard demolishing the square tower and replacing it with a new wing on the old foundations.
In 1829 the castle was sold at a public auction to a PA. Hinlopen and his wife. They again sold the castle in 1848 to Karel Kneppelhout. He pulled down the entire castle, with exception of the round tower, and build a new house on the foundations. The round tower was provided with large windows and in 1867 he also added a square tower to the new wing. The present form of the castle is mainly the outcome of his rebuilding.
In 1978 the castle was again sold and used for private habitation. At present the castle can be rented for cultural activities and as an B&B. The castle has its own website at: Kasteel Sterkenburg.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.