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:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.