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 enough to defend the castle against the hostile forces of the Count of Holland in 1407. The castle was destroyed and then rebuilt once again. In 1574, the Brakel Castle was plundered by the Spanish and subsequently blown up by French soldiers in 1672.

After this final blow, the medieval castle was never rebuilt. Work on the new house did not start until 1786, more than a hundred years later. The castle ruins were preserved and included in the design of the new landscape gardens and the south-west tower was partially restored. The owner was a collector of antiquities who chose to include grave stones and memorial plaques in the new walls for the house. He also established an archaeological museum in the medieval grain store called ‘Het Spijker’ (The Nail).

The national heritage foundations Het Geldersch Landschap and Geldersche Kasteelen acquired Brakel House in 1972. They turned the walled garden next to the ruins into a flower, herb and vegetable garden and restored the surrounding parklands to their former glory. In the 19th century, medieval ruins in landscaped gardens were the height of fashion and this example at Brakel House is the only one to survive in Gelderland.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Ruins in Netherlands

Rating

3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eddy van der Voorn (2 years ago)
Nog niet open voor publiek
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.