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 halls throughout the castle, renovations were commonplace. In fact, Prince Maurits dismantled much of the castle in 1591 so that the Spaniards would not be able to use it as a strategic advantage during their invasion. The outer walls of the castle were demolished as well as the canal.
In the 18th century, the castle’s entrance would be changed with two additional wings being added. During this time, renovations occurred that changed the castle into a neo-Gothic style. This renovation would not last long as in 1953, the neo-Gothic style was completely changed back to remove all signs that a neo-Gothic style ever existed. Little is known about the interior of the castle as it has been privately owned for its duration. Sparse photographs of the inside have been shown that dictate marvelous paintings of the family as well as their coat of arms.
Other regions have been rebuilt throughout the centuries and date to the 17th century onward. The castle is currently occupied and privately owned. While some pictures have been released to the public that hint at what the inside may look like, the castle has never been open for tours. Many hotels have been located around the castle so that visitors will be able to snap pictures from afar during their time in Overijssel.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.