Kleef castle Ruins

Haarlem, Netherlands

The Huis ter Kleef castle was probably built in the late 13th century. In 1403 it was given to Margaret of Cleves (c.1375-1411), and has since retained that name. During the Siege of Haarlem in 1572 it was the headquarters of the Spanish army, under the leadership of the duke of Alva. It was blown up in 1573 and badly damaged, the rubble was used for city expansion. The house nearby with a tower called the 'Kaatsbaan' was long considered the only building left standing, though recent archeological research suggests that the foundations have older stones than the rest and perhaps it was itself rebuilt after the explosion.

The property changed hands several times until it was purchased by the city of Haarlem in 1713. Stones from the central castle ruin can still be seen in surrounding buildings. The Kaatsbaan was used as a residence for former owners and is now also in use by the city gardens.



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Founded: 13th century
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Netherlands


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jason Freeman (2 months ago)
Atmospheric castle. One room has a log fire, which is great for warming you up on a wet day. They also serve very nice coffee and apple cake.
Francesca Parisse (21 months ago)
From the woman at the entrance to the stuff around the castle, everyone was kind and helpful. English is not an issue at all! Castle is a must see, and a must hear! as the vibe around the castle is just amazing Doesn't take much to walk around it, is a quick half hour I'd say. Plus: they have some awesome kids' costumes and swords and helmets AND WOODEN STICK HORSES to just get right at the entrance for kids to enjoy the visit even more than adults!
Hannah Beckwitch (2 years ago)
I really loved when I first visited 2 years ago and even was inspired to learn Nederlands to read the signs as most are not in English but this time wasn't as friendly. I spent hours hand sewing medieval dresses to wear with a friend for a few quick photos for our friendship photo book and selfies for social media as this is her first time ever leaving our country and as student of photography i was hoping two birds one stone a medevial time piece photo for my finals and a memorable image of my travels with my bestfriend but upon entry I was told no "professional" photos unless I paid $140 so I put my camera away and let them hold it to ensure I didnt break their rules which I understood they dont want photographers holding up lines and if they do the property should make its money but I was also told any mobile photos would result in a fee if I posted them to social media? Then they asked us if they could take a photo of us in our dresses? I told them it would be $140? .we were 3 out of5 people on site and felt rushed out. If it were my business I would have offered a discounted student rate under the circumstances but I clearly I don't understand their marketing strategy. Super disappointed by myopic management.
Michael Giele (2 years ago)
Beautiful ruin, partially restored. Using Playmobile figurines they have captured the battles of the past and really made it visual. Also learned some great new historic facts about the Netherlands. Because there's a quiz you can take for yourself it becomes a beautiful activity that takes you through the entire ruin and give you some of the best panoramic views. Really enjoyed. Recommendation: do not go on a rainy day.
Manas Mishra (2 years ago)
If you love Castles, this is a nice place to be…, And dressed up people make it alive!
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