Hoensbroek Castle

Hoensbroek, Netherlands

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.

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Founded: 1360
Category: Castles and fortifications in Netherlands

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ирина Мельчакова (6 months ago)
We spent four hours in the castle. If we had been allowed, we would have stayed there for a long time. But not in the dungeon!! ?? What to do in the castle: - listen to the gossip of the ladies of the court - warm up with onion soup - fly in the attic in a hot air balloon - go through a quest with the children - draw your coat of arms and proudly ride on a horse - get lost in rooms, stairs, turns, corridors - shoot from bow - and the most amazing thing is to watch knightly battles
Mike Parrish (7 months ago)
Would definitely recommend visiting this castle! It has an interactive tour that is great for the kids (and adults). Our family especially liked being able to climb to the top of the highest tower and lock ourselves in the dungeon. Very cool!
Graham L (8 months ago)
Beautiful castle, set in a picturesque location.. it was closed when we got there but we were still able to enter the courtyard and surrounding area. Immaculately kept.
Milena Felipe Luna (11 months ago)
My experience at Kasteel Hoensbroek was a bit disappointing, as the interior did not live up to the grandeur of the castle's exterior beauty. Although the castle itself is massive, only a small portion is open to the public. I found many artificial displays geared towards tourists, lacking the authenticity I had hoped for. Regrettably, there was a lack of original exhibits that would have delighted castle lovers, apart from the maids' life display. I felt the absence of a more royalty touch and an opportunity to explore the castle's history in a genuine and captivating way ¡Muchas gracias! 17/07/23
Praveen Kumar Srivastava (11 months ago)
Located at a nice place but there was no jungle near this castle. You have to buy tickets to get entry here. There are nothing special inside the castle. You can visit TerWorm which is not so far from this castle. Overall a worthy visit.
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