Doddendael Castle is a medieval castle surrounded by a moat built in the 1430s. The castle had already been in the possession of various families when the Van Stepraedt family bought it in 1489 for 4,000 gold guilders. In 1526 they sold Doddendael to Duke Charles of Gelre, who used it as a base. In that same year, people of Nijmegen went on the rampage by boat, plundering the castle and setting it on fire. In 1528 the Van Stepraedt family bought it back, in its burnt state, and started on the restoration.
In 1585 the castle was occupied by the Spanish. During the Siege of Nijmegen, Prince Maurits recaptured the castle and set it on fire again. After this fire, only the heavy base walls remained standing. Tirelessly, the Van Stepraedt family resumed the restoration.ConventicleThe Van Stepraedt family stopped using the restored castle as a main residence in the middle of the 17th century. When the practice of Roman Catholicism was banned, they made the castle vault available as a conventicle. Roman Catholics in the area secretly attended mass here. Remnants of the conventicle can still be seen.
The last extensive restoration of Slot Doddendael took place in 1977. Since then, it has been a popular and much-used backdrop for parties, dinners, weddings, meetings and conferences.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.