Eijsden Castle is a moated manor house with several farm buildings, a gatehouse and castle park, in Eijsden-Margraten, Limburg, Netherlands. The current castle was built in 1636, renovated in 1767, and restored between 1881-1886. The castle is made up out of two angled wings with at the outside corner a heavy cornertower flanked by a small stair tower. At the end of the eastwing Athere is another towerlike building containing a gate which grands access to the inner square. On top of this gate is placed the year of completion and the arms of the De Lamargelle and von Bocholtz families. The whole is surrounded by a moat. The castle is built in Mosan Renaissance-style.
First mention of the castle was in 1334 when 'den hof tot Esde' was granted to Dyederic van Montjoy en Valkenburg by John III, Duke of Brabant. In 1558 Eijsden was owned by Arnold II Huyn van Amstenrade, lord of Geleen, drossaerd of Valkenburg, governor of Brabant owned Maastricht and captain-general of Limburg and the lands east of the Maas. His daughter Anna married Willem de Lamargelle, and their son, Arnold de Lamargelle, build the current castle in 1636-1637. By inheritance the castle was owned successively by the families van Hoensbroeck, de Geloes and de Liedekerke, who are the current owners of the castle.
Next to the castle is a gatebuilding with sidebuilding, built in 1649 when a fire destroyed the earlier buildings. They were restored between 1883-1885.
The castle park, created around 1900, is open to the public. It was designed by French garden artist Achille Duchêne (1866-1947), replacing an earlier 18th century park. Of this original 18th century park only a small part remains on the northside of the castle, where there is also an 18th-century basement for the storage of ice. The current park has a neo-rococo pond and a group of statues containing three putti.
The castle is located on or near the location of a medieval castle, named Caestertburg or Kettelhof. During the early Middle Ages the court and fertile riverlands were owned by the prince-bishops of Liège.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).