Wijenburg was an important castle in the Duchy of Guelders and the Lords of Echteld who lived in the castle enjoyed great prestige until there was a disagreement between the Duke of Guelders and Lord Otto van Wijhe in 1492. At the beginning of the 20th century, the castle was saved from demolition by Baron Van Verschuer and restored by Stichting Geldersche Kasteelen national heritage foundation.
The history of Wijenburg Castle dates back to the 12th century, when a fortified tower was built and the castle has been extended further and further over time. For centuries, the castle was occupied by the extensive and influential Van Wijhe family. By around 1400, the castle had grown into one of the most important political centres in the Duchy of Guelders. Duchess Catharina, the wife of Duke Willem van Gulik, was even godmother to one of the descendants of the Van Wijhe family.
In 1492,Otto van Wijhe had a disagreement with the newly-appointed Duke, Charles of Guelders, after he had sided with Charles’ arch-enemy, the House of Burgundy. Otto was taken prisoner and even tortured; his castle was set on fire, the moat was filled in and he was deprived of his most important noble rights. His grandson, Otto, managed to redeem the family’s name to some extent: he studied law and became Lord of Echteld in 1568. As if by a miracle, one of his diaries has been preserved along with two friendship books. These give us a fascinating insight into life in a 16th-century castle.
The castle remained in the Van Wijhe family (by marriage) for many years. In 1928, the two elderly ladies Anna and Wil van Balveren sold the castle to their nephew, B.F. Baron van Verschuer. In 1956, the Baron handed the castle over to Stichting Geldersche Kasteelennational heritage foundation, which carefully renovated the by-then dilapidated castle and restored it to its former glory. The castle is now known as one of the most popular wedding locations in Gelderland.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.