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

Jingwen Liu (4 months ago)
The visiting was very nice. I specifically liked the watch tower part. They also got some cool stuff there, like old clocks.
J Otten (6 months ago)
Nice castle and many rooms to see. Well worth the visit.
Nguyen Nguyen (6 months ago)
The castle is beautiful and easily accessible from the city. You can only tour one main building of the whole grounds. They have guide books in English and most of the staff spoke English. There is a small eatery that serves ice cream, soups, salads etc but it closes at 4. We sat down and they gave us a menu. A few minutes later, we were about to order and they said the kitchen is closed. I don’t know why they didn’t say that when they handed us menus. Overall, lovely castle but the experience is not worth the entry price.
Amanda CuteButEvil (7 months ago)
Absolute wonderful place to visit! I went with a friend (we're both 21) we spent around two hours in the castle. Castle was wonderful to explore, we booked a children's pack with the stamp map which was super fun to fill out (a couple stamps were out of ink tho) The information booklet is filled with information about the castle and a very detailed description of the exploration route. We also had a blast playing the games in the basement and outside. My only complaints are that the medieval towers stairs are VERY tight and steep, I'm claustrophobic and it made me very uncomfortable, I would skip that part of the tour next time. And many doorways are short, if you're over 170ish cm you'll have to duck. Most of the "extra" information is in Dutch. But the videos are in Dutch. German and English. Super awesome that there's FREE parking in a partly shaded lot and your ticket comes with a FREE drink. Also, their website has a free video tour that's incredibly detailed - giving information on the previous owners and the role the castle played in the past! You can also see the areas that are off limits to visitors regularly. Overall I cannot recommend this castle enough, the price is beyond fair (especially with free parking and a free drink!). You will not be disappointed! Great for all ages.
Yogesh Babu Ramasamy (8 months ago)
A very beautiful castle with a nice scenery around this. It’s kind of an unique castle. There is a parking facility available here. Opposite to the castle there is a nice lake where you can sit relax and enjoy a very nice picnic. Overall a very nice place to enjoy.
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