Hackfort Manor was originally a keep that was expanded into a castle in the 13th century. It was destroyed by Spanish troops in 1586 and rebuilt in 1600. It is one of the best preserved fortified stately homes in the province of Gelderland.
The most famous descendant of the Van Hackfort line was Berent (1475-1557). In 1502, he entered the service of the Duke of Guelders and even became commander and deputy to the duke. He also held various posts in the duchy; everything from sheriff to steward. At the time, the Duke of Guelders was at war with the Spanish Habsburg ruler and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, in an attempt to protect his duchy from the Habsburgs. When the Duchy of Guelders finally lost its independence in 1543, Berent was among those who signed the treaty. Berent lived to the age of 80 and his tomb can still be seen in the church in Vorden.
In 1585, Spanish troops conquered the city of Zutphen and the region turned into a battleground. It was plundered and burned by friend and foe alike and during a failed attempt by the Maurice of Nassau’s Dutch States Army to win back Zutphen, Hackfort Castle was destroyed by the Spaniards. It wasn’t until 1591 that Prince Maurice managed to reclaim Zutphen so that the region could slowly start to recover.
In 1788, Hackfort Castle underwent substantial renovations. The old gate house and outbuildings were demolished and the canals were filled in. The castle was transformed into an 18th-century manor house. Today, only the two towers serve as reminders of the former castle. In 1981, Hackfort Manor passed to The Netherlands Natural Heritage Society (Natuurmonumenten) and the house, coach house and watermill have since been restored and opened to the public. Hackfort Manor’s lovely estate is open to the public as well and the natural heritage society is currently working hard to restore the gardens to their original condition.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.