The Castles of Holland

Where can more mystic and secret be hidden than in castle. Explore them in Holland.

Muiderslot

The Muiderslot National Museum in Muiden is the most famous medieval castle in Holland.  It was built around 1280, but was destroyed in 1296.  In 1380 a new castle was built on the ruins of the original.  This castle survives today and is now over 600 years old and still in perfect condition.  It is surrounded by a moat as it should be and it was used as a court, a prison, and as a home for the castle warden.  The most famous castle warden was the poet P.C. Hooft, who lived in the castle from 1609 until his death in 1647. 

The castle is open most of the year for visitors and features artwork, tools, and utensils from when Hooft lived there.

Doorwerth Castle

Located on the banks of the Rhine River the Doorwerth Castle is situated between the river and the Veluwezoom National Park.  It is one of the oldest castles in Holland it is mentioned in historical documents dating back to 1260.  One of the oldest trees in Holland, a Robinia tree is located on the castle grounds and was planted around 1600.

During WWII the castle suffered extensive damage during the battle of Arnhem during which two other Robinia trees planted around 1600 were destroyed.  Over the course of 37 years the castle was rebuilt to its original grandeur. 

The Menkemaborg

The Menkemaborg in Uithuizen was built in the 12th century.  The castle underwent extensive renovations in 1700 but has changed little since then.  The castle was opened as a museum in 1927 and features fully furnished rooms displaying furniture from the 17th century.  The castle is surrounded by a moat of course, and outside the moat are the beautiful gardens of Menkemaborg.  The gardens include: the walled pleasure garden, the sundial garden, and in the summer you can walk the rose tunnel.

Bergh Castle

The Castle Bergh lies at the edge of the medieval town of ‘s-Heerenberg (Huisberg).  One of the largest castles in Holland, it contains an exceptional art collection including a portrait gallery, Northern European art, Italian Renaissance masterpieces, medieval books, an armory, and a coin collection. 
The history of the castle dates back to around 1100 when a wooden tower was built on the current site.  Sometime around 1300 the first floor was built and the castle was inhabited, but very little is known about the early inhabitants.  From 1508 – 1781 the castle was continuously occupied.  During the 80 year war the castle was seriously damaged, but was rebuilt starting around 1600.  The castle we see today is the castle that was renovated in 1600, so little has changed since then.

Hoensbroek Castle

Hoensbroek Castle, Located in the province of Zuid-Limburg it is one of the most beautiful castles in Holland.  Hoensbroek was turned into a museum castle 60 years ago that offers activities and displays for adults, and children alike.  The oldest parts of the castle date all the way back to 1250.

Children, after they tour the castle of course, can enjoy learning about activities like: fencing, perfume making, shepherding, falconing, and much more.  Adults can change into a pair of hiking boots and enjoy hikes of up to 3 hours exploring the wooded lands surrounding the castle. 

Slot Zuylen Castle

Built sometime around 1520 in the town of Oud Zuilen, you will find the Slot Zuylen Castle.  It was surrounded on all sides by water when it was built, but at some point between 1520 and 1752 an English style garden and a small house were built on some of the land that had been covered by water.  In 1752 the last major renovations were made turning the castle into a country manor on the Vecht River.

The castle contains the Zuylen collection, a collection of articles that depict the décor of the 18th century.  The collection of artifacts was acquired by the Van Tuyll van Serooskerken family, who lived in the castle for over 3 centuries.  The collection includes: paintings, porcelain, glassware, and furnishings.  At one point the famous writer Belle van Zuylen lived in the castle and several of the rooms have been redecorated so that they resemble what they would have looked like during that time.  In the summer you can enjoy a leisurely stroll thru the English gardens or a nice hike in the countryside outside the castle grounds.   

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