Bouvigne Castle origins are not known. It appears in official documents for the first time in 1554, in the testament Jacob van Brecht. Here it is described as a stately stone building surrounded by water. Over time the castle has been extended. It began as a stone house to which a tower was added (between 1554 and 1611). Over the following three years further modifications were made to the building and the tower extended to its present height. This gave the form we see today.
The Van Brecht family are the first recorded owners of the Castle and their name can be found on tile work from c. 1494. They used the castle as a summer residence, living in the town during the rest of the year. In 1611, Jan Baptist Keermans became the owner. He was responsible for much of the rebuilding but did not enjoy the fruits of his labour since in 1614 the land passed into new hands of The Prince of Orange.
The family made little personal use of the castle which was used as a residence for their stewards. The building was poorly maintained and fell into disrepair and was eventually threatened with demolition. The local people fortunately prevented this in 1774. In 1775 Willem V gave up possession. Today Castle Bouvigne is owned by the Waterschap (the regional body responsible for waterways and the maintenance of water levels).References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.