Heeswijk Castle was originally built in the 11th century. The original motte was erected in 1080. During the subsequent centuries this motte was reduced and in its place a castle was built.
Heeswijk Castle has played a crucial role in the history of the Netherlands. Around the year 1600 Prince Maurits twice failed to take the castle. Eventually, his half-brother Frederick Henry did, however, succeeded in capturing the castle in 1629, which in turn enabled him to lay siege to 's-Hertogenbosch. In 1672 the French king Louis XIV stayed at Heeswijk Castle during his campaign against the Dutch Republic. At the end of the 18th century General Pichegru, a French general under the command of Napoleon used the castle as his headquarters.
In 1835, André Baron van den Bogaerde van Terbrugge bought the Heeswijk Castle, which by then had fallen into disrepair, and immediately started reconstruction works on a large scale. The castle was enlarged with an armory. He also had the so-called 'Iron Tower' built in order to house his and his sons, Louis and Donat, growing collection of art objects and curiosa.
The current castle museum attempts to reflect the life and traditions of the middle of the 19th century. Following recent restoration guided tours of the castle are offered. The armory of the castle is used as a wedding location by the municipality Bernheze. Under the promenade cellar roofs (wedding) receptions can be held and the carriage house of the castle accommodates training facilities as well as congress and presentation rooms.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.