Ammersoyen castle was originally built in 1350 by Dirk van Herlaer along the river Maas. Ammersoyen was a unique castle as it was built using a fixed plan, which was unlike other castles built during this era. The design included four wings that were constructed around a center court. Each corner had its own heavy tower for extra protection. The castle included a gatehouse and was originally surrounded by a moat. At the time, it was one of the finest defensive structures in the country.
In 1386, the castle was lost to Duke of Gelderland who gave the castle to his illegitimate son. He then sold the castle in 1424 to Johan van Broekhugen, Lord of Waarenburg. For the next four hundred years, the castle only exchanged hands through inheritance.
Throughout history the castle was besieged several times with 1513 and 1574 being some of the more notable events. The castle suffered the most damage in 1590 when the castle owner Joris van Arkel was killed from his injuries. After his death, the castle fell into ruin until the 17th century when the Van Arkel family finally raised enough money to restore the castle. Thomas van Arkel paid the French 7,000 guilders to save the castle in 1672 when France swept through Holland and burned many castles along the way. The castle may have survived, but Thomas remained in debt and was never able to finish the castle renovations. After his death, the castle was inherited by another family.
The castle was then sold to the Roman Catholic Church in 1876 and was used as a convent. During World War II, the castle was used as shelter for village residents. Once the war was over, the castle was used as a village hall until it was purchased by the Gelderland Castle Trust in the late 1950s. It has since been restored to its former medieval glory.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.