The origins of Hernen lie to the west of the present castle, next to the river Elst. That is where the first motte castle of Hernen was sited, and remained in use until the 12th/13th century. This was possibly also the fortress of the Lords of Hernen, who first appear in the records in 1247. The lord received income through taxes and special privileges, such as the milling rights. This income enabled him to extend his castle, which in turn increased his status.

Around that time, Hernen was partly in Cleves and partly in Gelderland. In the 14th century, work started on the construction of the present castle, which was sited on the Gelderland part. Later, everything came again under one estate. The east wing and the monumental entry gate date from 1555. A special feature is the covered patrol path - quite rare in the Netherlands.

The castle never suffered war damage or natural disasters. In the last century, the lord of the castle hardly ever lived there, leaving the administration to a steward. There was no urge to embellish the castle according to the latest fashion in architecture, and consequently the castle was able to keep its austere, medieval character.



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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Netherlands


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nancy Underwood (4 months ago)
Didn't go inside, but the castle was nice to see and walk around.
Bob Oorsprong (4 months ago)
A very very cool castle/museum, they have little carry lanterns wich you take around. When you hold it in front of little plates on the wall, it starts giving you information about what is in that room and what they did with expanding back in the time. It's the only castle that hasn't been renovated over te years. Only expanded in the time being. They also had a very cool room with lights and a voice over telling you and showing you on a scale model what happend to the castle. Really great for kids but also cool for just people who like to see castles
Frank Wils (2 years ago)
Wonderful medieval castle. One of the few castles in Holland that haven't been renewed or changed since the medieval times. Maybe the outside isn't as attractive as a castle which makes it quite unknown. Also the only castle in Holland with covered closed walks. Purposely almost unfurnished except for the few exhibition rooms. Nice area around to walk. Check out the children activities if you have kids!
John Dalrymple (2 years ago)
Very good flower show plants for reasonable prices
Francois Weideman (3 years ago)
This Castell was built in 1355 and it is still standing. It was renovated in the 16 hundreds but it is in very good condition complete with a pond and adjacent to a forest. There is an old an anvil and Smith's vice in the courtyard that could be hundreds of years old. This would make the perfect bed and breakfast #justsaying.
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Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".