Waardenburg Castle dates from the 13th century. Only half of the original building remains: the south wing was destroyed in the Eighty Years’ War and was never rebuilt. Legend has it that the infamous Doctor Faust lived in the castle. At the end of his pact with the devil he was said to have been thrown from the castle tower.
The precise construction date of medieval castles is seldom known yet in this case, Waardenburg is an exception. On 2nd August 1265, Count Otto II of Guelders pledged the manor of Waardenburg to the knight Rudolph de Cock. Knight Rudolph first built a wooden tower, which was soon replaced by a stone tower. His son and grandson turned the keep into a round castle with three connecting wings, a circular wall, towers, fortified bailey and a moat.
According to a legend in the Geldersche Volksalmanak (Gelderland’s Folk almanac) dating from 1842, the infamous Doctor Faust lived in Waardenburg Castle. Faust had made a pact with the devil and in exchange for his soul, he could have all of the knowledge from all of the world for seven years. After seven years of abusing this power, the devil came to take his soul. He dragged Faust by his hair out of the castle tower and the indelible blood stains can still be seen on the pavement to this day.Johann Georg Faust did actually exist and he was imprisoned in Batenburg Castle for several years.
In the Eighty Years’ War the castle’s occupant, Catharina van Gelder, sided with the Spaniards, which did not please William of Orange. He besieged the castle in 1574 destroying the south side of the castle and the fortified bailey which were never rebuilt. This explains why the castle is now shaped like a horseshoe. The rest of the castle was renovated in the 17th century and was home to various noble families. The building has recently been thoroughly restored and now houses an office. Access to the castle is limited.References:
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".