Castle Hoensbroek or Gebrookhoes is one of the largest castles in the Netherlands. This imposing watercastle is known as 'the most lordly stronghold between Rhine and Meuse'. The oldest part of the castle, notably the tall round tower, dates from around 1360, when it was built by Herman Hoen, though a predecessor to the castle had already existed in the swamp (or Gebrook) the castle was located in. This so-called motte-and-bailey dated from around 1225. In 1250 a fortified manor was built on the location of the present castle. Because of its important strategical location in the Duchy of Brabant, located along important trading routes to Maastricht, Aachen and Cologne, the castle was expanded in several phases, becoming the largest stronghold between the Meuse and the Rhine rivers. It contains at least 67 halls, rooms and living quarters.

The castle was the ancestral home of the knights Hoen van den Broeck, the Imperial baron Hoen van Hoensbroeck, and the Imperial counts and viscounts Van en tot Hoensbroeck for nearly six centuries. The family Van Hoensbroeck left the castle at the end of the 18th century, after which the castle entered a period of decay. Count Frans Lothar sold the castle in 1927 to the present day owners, the foundation 'Ave Rex Christe'. It was thoroughly restored between 1930 and 1940. During and shortly after the second world war, the castle and accompanying buildings were used for diverse ends. From 1951 to 1973 the writer-poet Bertus Aafjes lived in parts of the castle. In the period 1986-1989 another restoration took place. Since then it has formed a popular and educative museum destination, funded by the municipality.

Over the centuries the castle has received extensive rebuilding and expansion three times. The different architectural styles from the different centuries (14th, 17th and 18th) are easy to separate from each other. The complex is surrounded by a moat and has four wings situated around a rectangular courtyard. The main building is reachable over a bridge. The main building has two identical square towers with union-tops, flanking the entrance, and two taller half-separate corner towers of irregular shape at the backside. The forecastles are both U-formed and enclose two large inner courts.

From 1720 to 1722, Frans Arnold, Imperial count van Hoensbroek, had substantial reworking done, including the building of a new north-western wing. The interior, with its illusionistic ceiling paintings from the 18th century, shows French influence. The son of Frans Arnold, Lotharius Frans, was the last lord of Hoensbroeck (1759–1794) who resided in the castle, until 1787, just before the French revolution.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1360
Category: Castles and fortifications in Netherlands

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Elnara Igid (4 months ago)
Had a chance to visit this beautiful castle! The reason why I’m giving 1star it’s because of the STAFF’S ATTITUDE!! This place supposed to be kids friendly! They need to have kids friendly staff!! Towards the end of our visit my children wanted to go back to the table where they had helmets, this staff member came up to us told my kids that they were not allowed to touch those without asking , he approached us very unfriendly way! I told him that my kids don’t speak Dutch! Before I had a chance to translate to my kids what he said my little one touch it and then he very arrogantly scolded my kid!!! He said: “stop making a mess young man!”, I was shocked because no one was making a mess.. I told him that earlier all the kids were grabbing all the the stuff and no one said a word, the other staff members were watching them… Even if you are not allowed to touch things without asking, there is a way to talk to the kids!!!!! ABSOLUTELY NOT the way he did!!!! I payed €48 so my kids have fun not get scolded like that by a rude worker!!!!! ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE, RUDE!! I did I for the front desk how unhappy I was! Here is picture of him so you know who to avoid in case god forbid your child will touch something..
Ricardo Munsel (5 months ago)
We love to visit castles. Finally the occasion came up.for us to visit the Hoesbroek Castle. We think the free booklet you get is a great guide through the Castle. Learn about the history and about the building. This Castle is the biggest Castle in the Netherlands.
Antzela-Marina Arapi (8 months ago)
One of the best cartels I have ever visit. If you are in Maastricht or near by spend some hours for this exhibition. I don't give 5 stars because the tickets is quite expensive compared to what you can see.
Viktor Sydoruk (9 months ago)
Great place. The castle has many rooms to visit. It is like a maze which was interesting to solve but where interesting to get lost too.
Rorschach 89 (11 months ago)
Very nice , accessible castle not too far from Roermond. Entrance fee of about 15€ is justified. For that money u get to visit almost every corner of the castle.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.