According the legend, the Gertrudiskerk was founded the church in 654 by Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, abbess of the abbey in Nivelles. The older part of the church consisting of the towers, dates to around 1370. These were later incorporated in probably the 14th and 15th century when changes were made to the church. The current church building, completed in 1477 was designed by Evert Spoorwater. He devised a new chancel with chancel ambulatory and vaults in the ship style of the Brabantine Gothic.
In 1489 Anthonis submitted to Keldermans a design for a new church in the Late Gothic style. In spite of a constant lack of money, a new chancel and transept were realized. During the troubles of 1580 the church was plundered and thereafter used as a military warehouse. A cannonade by the French in 1747 left the church devastated. In 1750 rebuilding efforts started again, albeit with a more sober character. The church was 9 meters lower after being rebuilt.
In 1586 the church was arranged for reformed services. The new chancel and transept were completed and in 1698 were demolished. Thus only a small part remained of the second transept. Material was needed at this time for the construction of fortifications.
From 1586 to 1966 the reformed congregation had this building in possession. In 1747 the building burned down after the bombardment by the French. Rebuilding took place using Protestant funds and Protestant stones. The reformed congregation retained control through the 1950s and 1960s and people began to regret that more and more. It appeared an impossible task to maintain such a large building. In 1966 the church was transferred to the municipality so the government could restore the building.
New misfortune struck the church again in 1972 when a fire broke out. The whole interior including the 18th century pipe organ by Louis Delhaye II was lost. In the 1980s restoration started anew. In 1987, the church was again inaugurated by the bishop of Breda.
Engraving by Erasmus Quellinus and Richard Collin of the Tomb of Willem van der Rijt and Judith van Aeswyn, 1641Among the interior features are a stained glass window honoring Saint Gertrudis, two pulpits, three Flemish confessionals and an Ibach pipe organ from 1863. Also some sepulchral monuments and several ecclesiastical objects are on display.References:
Ängsö Castle was first named as "Engsev" in a royal charter by king Canute I of Sweden (r. 1167-1196), in which he stated that he had inherited the property after his father Eric IX of Sweden. Until 1272, it was owned by the Riseberga Abbey, and then taken over by Gregers Birgersson.
From 1475 until 1710, it was owned by the Sparre family. The current castle was built as a fortress by riksråd Bengt Fadersson Sparre in the 1480s. In 1522, Ängsö Castle was taken after a siege by king Gustav Vasa, since its owner, Fadersson's son Knut Bengtsson, sided with Christian II of Denmark. However, in 1538 it was given by the king to Bengtsson's daughter Hillevi Knutsdotter, who was married to Arvid Trolle.
In 1710, the castle was taken over by Carl Piper and Christina Piper. Ängsö Castle was owned by the Piper family from 1710 until 1971, and is now owned by the Westmanna foundation. The castle building itself was made into a museum in 1959 and was made a listed building in 1965. It is currently opened to visitors during the summers.
The castle is a cubical building in four stores made by stone and bricks. The lower parts is preserved from the middle ages. It was redecorated and expanded in the 1630s. The 4th storey as well as the roof is from the expansion of Carl Hårleman from 1740-41. It gained its current appearance in the 1740s.