Netherlands

The Best Castles in the Netherlands

Despite the fact that many of the Netherlands’ Medieval castles have perished through time, there are nonetheless a magnificent few that live to tell tales of the past. Wherever you are within the country, you are never too far from a beautiful, awe-inspiring castle, many of which are bursting with a rich history and heritage, and are just waiting to be uncovered. This list will present the best castles in the Netherlands, their key highlights, as well as practical information, such as opening times and location.

 

28 Famous Dutch Castles to visit

1. De Haar Castle

Castles in Netherlands De-Haar-Castle

With its proud status as the largest castle in the Netherlands, the castle has an extensive history, and is an architectural gem; located in Utrecht, the castle has its origins in the 13th century, but gradually declined throughout the centuries. In more recent times, De Haar Castle has hosted some famous and lavish parties, with some of its celebrity guests including Coco Chanel, Joan Collins and Brigitte Bardot. Visually, the castle captures Medieval charm, and is the perfect place to wander around on a bright sunny day.

Where: Utrecht, the Netherlands

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 11:00am – 17:00pm

2. Doornenburg Castle

Best castles in NetherlandsDoornenburg-Castle

This 13th-century castle is situated in eastern Gelderland, and features two separate castles, which are joined by a large wooden bridge. Despite its history being rooted in the 9th century, whereby it was first built as a fortified manor, it took centuries to be renovated into a castle. The castle is built in the Medieval style, as has a huge amount of charm and character; today, visitors are attracted both by its rich and exciting history, as well as the castle grounds, original artefacts, as well as contemporary tea rooms.

Where: Gelderland, the Netherlands

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 11:00am – 17:30pm

3. Doorwerth Castle

Famous Castles in Netherlands Doorwerth-Castle

Doorwerth Castle began life as a wooden castle, having been built in 1260, before later being rebuilt in stone years later. It was not until the 14th century until the castle began to be enlarged and extended, and became increasingly modernized and sophisticated. During the Second World War, the castle was impacted greatly, as it was heavily bombed by German artillery. Today, visitors are captivated by the castle’s rich and exciting history, as well as several rumours that the castle is haunted by ghosts!

Where: Gelderland, the Netherlands

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 11:00am – 17:00pm

4. Duivenvoorde Castle

Castles in Netherlands Duivenvoorde-Castle

With its origins in the 13th century, Duivenvoorde Castle is still to this day inhabited. Architecturally, the castle is incredibly unique, and has undergone several drastic renovations and alterations throughout the years; visitors are enticed by its brilliant charm and character, and its capacity to transport people to past time. Each century has left its mark upon the castle’s interior and exterior, such as the 19th century adding neo-Gothic elements, and the 18th century giving it a sense of architectural symmetry.

Where: Voorschoten, the Netherlands

When: 13th century

Style: A range of styles – Medieval to Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: These hours vary, as it is not possible to visit the castle without a tour guide – ensure that you plan this in advance; there are many tour guides available!

5. Heeswijk Castle

Castles in Netherlands Heeswijk-Castle

The first mention of Heeswijk Castle was in the year 1156, when the owner was Count Almericus, though it is believed to have been built several decades before this. Over the centuries, the Castle has seen a significant amount of military action, such as in 1370, whereby it was sieged by the armies of Gelre and Gulick, as well as during the Second World War, where it suffered small amounts of damage. Today, the Castle hosts many events, including weddings, as it is both visually stunning, and offers a rich amount of history.

Where: Heeswijk-Dinther, the Netherlands

When: 12th century

Style: Medieval, with later rennovations, such as Baroque and Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 11:00 am – 17:00 pm weekly, but closed on Saturday and Sunday.

6. Heeze Castle

Best castles in Netherland Heeze-Castles

Built-in the year 1600 by Pieter Post, Heeze Castle is situated in the south of Eindhoven, and has been the hub of the seigneury of Heeze, Leende, and Zesgehuchten. Unlike some of the castles in the Netherlands that boast grand, intricate facades that induce and awe-inspiring reaction in many visitors, Heeze Castle has less of a physical wow-factor, and more of an understated intrigue; a lot of the castle was never finished, which adds to its interesting presence.

Where: Eindhoven, the Netherlands

When: 1600

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 14:00pm – 15:00pm

7. Hoensbroek Castle

Famous Castles in Netherlands Hoensbroek-Castle

Locally known as Kasteel Hoensbroek, Hoensbroek Castle is located in a village of the same name. With its origins in the year 1250, where the first fortification was built, the castle began its rich history; the second fortification was built in 1360 by the Hoen family, who held a significant amount of power of social and political issues. During the 17th century, the original Medieval castle collapsed, and it was then that a new castle was built on the foundations; though it was left to decay, in the 19th century, it was fully restored again to its former glory.

Where: Hoensbroek, the Netherlands

When: 1250

Style: A range of styles, including Medieval, Baroque, and Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:30pm

8. Muider Castle

Castles in Netherlands Muider-Castle

Muider Castle is a great place to visit on a day-trip if you are staying in Amsterdam; it is a Medieval castle built in 1280, by Count Floris V, and still exudes a charm and character today that transports visitors back to the Middle Ages. As soon as you step into Muider Castle, you truly feel as though you have stepped back in time; each room is adorned with both a mix of original artefacts and features, as well as reconstructions, giving visitors a true taste of the past in an exciting and fascinating way.

Where: 15 kilometers south of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

When: 1280

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 12:00pm – 17:00pm

9. Nijenrode Castle

Best castles in Netherland Nijenrode-Castle-

As the city of Utrecht was developing into a market down, in the 13th century, the first foundations of Nijenrode Castle were being laid, upon the narrowest part of the river of Vecht. It was strategically situated on a crucial trade route from Utrecht to Zuiderzee, and was also in a position of defence, in case conflict arose. The castle was dedicated to the count of Holland, before it was destroyed in 1481, and once again in 1511; it was rebuilt again in the 17th century, whereby it took the form of a grand country house, with many modernised features.

Where: Utrecht, the Netherlands

When: 1260

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: The castle is now a university, so access to its interiors is limited.

10. Amerongen Castle

Best castles in Netherland Nijenrode-Castle- Amerongen-Castle

One of the Netherland’s most beautiful castles is Amerongen Castle, which was built in the 17th century; it boasts a proud, almost regal-looking façade, and wows visitors from the very beginning. Once inside, visitors can view a vast collection of artefacts, such as porcelain, musical instruments, and family portraits, which range from the 18th century to the 19th century. As well as the marvellous interiors, the castle also has 10 hectares of beautiful gardens, which include many amazing features, such as a 300-year-old oak tree.

Where: Amerongen, the Netherlands

When: 17th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 11:00am – 16:00pm

11. Ammersoyen Castle

Famous Castles in Netherlands Ammersoyen-Castle

Originally built in 1350 by Dirk van Herlaer, the castle was constructed around one center court, with several towers for a heavy degree of protection. The castle has been besieged several times throughout history and has consequently changed style and layout. Interestingly, the castle was sold to the Roman Catholic Church in 1876 and was used as a convent. During the Second World War, it was also used as a shelter for villagers, proving that its history is long, unique and vastly different.

Where: Ammerzoden, the Netherlands

When: 1350

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 11:00am – 17:00pm

12. Biljoen Castle

Castles in Netherlands Biljoen-Castle

With its origins in the year 1076, whereby the castle started out as a farm, it was not until 1530 where it took the shape of a castle. Over the centuries, the castle has had an array of different owners; in 1849, the castle was lived in by Queen Anne Pavlovna of Netherlands, and she even ordered the construction of a Russian Orthodox chapel on the grounds specifically for her use. Today, the castle is owned by an American family, and the castle itself is closed off to public visit.

Where: Velp, the Netherlands

When: 1076

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 11:00am – 17:00pm (last admission at 16:00pm)

13. Breda Castle

Best castles in Netherland Breda-Castles

This late Gothic style castle is situated in north Brabant, and is a Renaissance architectural treasure. The existing castle is built upon the foundations of an original fortress, which has its origins in the 13th century; Count Henry III of Nassau implemented a wonderful gallery, which is famous for being the first known piece of Renaissance architecture in the country. The exterior and interior of the castle are wonderful, and visitors today are captivated by its wonderful history.

Where: North Brabant, the Netherlands

When: Origins in the 13th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

14. Cannenburgh Castle

Famous Castles in Netherlands Cannenburgh-Castle

Built-in 1543 by Maarten van Rossum upon the ruins of an old, original castle, Cannenburgh Castle remained in the family of D’Isendoorn a Blois for three centuries. The castle has changed drastically over the years, but the castle that we see today was built in the 16th century and has changed very little since then, aside from several structural alterations. This water castle captures Medieval character and boasts several different rooms that feature original furnishings and features.

Where: Gelderland, the Netherlands

When: 1543

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 11:00am – 16:00pm

15. Croy Castle

Castles in Netherlands Croy-Castle

Croy Castle, otherwise known as Kasteel Croy, was first mentioned in the year 1472, where the original owner was Rutger van Erp and would have existed with merely a fortified house with a tower for protection. The castle has switched hands several times since, such as in 1772 where it as acquired by the Van de Brugghen family and the King of Holland in 1809. Unfortunately, the castle is not open for visitors today, but they are nonetheless free to admire the castle’s wonderful exterior.

Where: Aarle-Rixtel, the Netherlands

When: 15th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: The interior is not open for a visit.

16. Duurstede Castle

Best castles in Netherland Duurstede-Castles

This 13th century Medieval castle is located in Wijk Bij Duurstede, in the Utrecht province of the Netherlands; the castle started life as a military building, equipped with a moat and several watchtowers for protection and defense. In the 15th century, the castle passed hands through force, from the Van Zuylen van Abcoude family to the bishops of Utrecht, who renovated the castle drastically, adding new floors of residence, extra wings, and a Great Hall. Today, the castle is used for catering events, parties and weddings, etc, but nonetheless maintains its Medieval charm.

Where: Wijk bij Duurstede, the Netherlands

When: 1270

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

17. Haamstede Castle

Famous Castles in Netherlands Haamstede-Castle

Originally built in the 12th century, with even earlier archaeological tracings of the Roman era, Haamstede Castle is just bursting at the seams with history. The original castle was destroyed by a fire in 1525, and only the keep survived; it was later rebuilt in the 17th century, and adhered to contemporary styles and fashions. Today, the castle itself is an architectural wonder, with its glorious turrets, incredible drawbridge, and Medieval charm, it has captured the interest of visitors for centuries

Where: Haamstede, the Netherlands

When: 12th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 11:00am – 15:00pm

18. Huis Bergh

Castles in Netherlands Huis-Bergh

Huis Bergh is one of the largest castles in the whole of the Netherlands and was originally built in the year 1200 by Lord Van den Bergh. Although its origins remain in the 12th century, the majority of the castle was built between the 14th and 17th centuries, giving it a mixture of styles, from Medieval and Renaissance to the grandeur of Baroque. The castle sadly burned down in 1735, and was not restored until the 1930s, by Jan Herman van Heek; as well as the restoration of the building itself, many items of furniture were also restored.

Where: ‘s-Heerenberg, the Netherlands

When: 12th century

Style: A mixture of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque

Open for visit: Approximately 12:30 pm – 16:30 pm, but hours vary depending on the time of year.

19. Huis Doorn

Best castles in Netherland Huis-Doorns

Situated in the town of Doorn, Doorn Castle was first mentioned in the year 838 as ‘Villa Thorhem’; however, this was likely not a real castle, but more of an estate, rather, the real castle was built at the end of the 13th century. The Castle was largely left to ruin for centuries, that is, until the 17th century, where it was rebuilt by Reynier van Golsteyn. The castle itself is wonderful to look at and explore, as it has so many different sections of history all compiled into one incredible building.

Where: Doorn, the Netherlands

When: 838

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 13:00pm – 17:00pm

20. Huys Dever

Famous Castles in Netherlands Huys-Dever

Located in the town of Lisse in the South Holland region of the Netherlands, Huys Dever Castle was built in approximately 1375 by Reinier De Ever, who was a knight. Over the years, and most particularly in the 16th century, various renovations and extensions were applied to the castle, which drastically altered its overall look. The castle has been open to the public since the late 1970s, and has continued to fascinate its visitors ever since! It is a quiet, peaceful castle, with a lot to offer in terms of architectural quality and richness of heritage.

Where: Lisse, the Netherlands

When: 1375

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 12:00am – 16:00pm

21. Loevestein Castle

Castles in Netherlands Loevestein-Castle

This Medieval marvel, located in Gelderland, was built by a knight named Dirc Loef van Horne between the years 1357 and 1397. The castle has a rich military history which has spanned across centuries of time; most notably, it was part of the Hollandic Water Line and has been an important and crucial aspect of Dutch defense for years. Today, the castle has been renovated into a Medieval and archaeological museum, as it makes for the perfect setting when learning about the past!

Where: Gelderland, the Netherlands

When: 14th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 11:00am – 17:00pm

22. Menkemaborg

Best castles in Netherlands Menkemaborg

Though this castle’s heritage is rooted in the 14th century, little has changed since its drastic rennovations in the early 18th century. It boasts a vast array of magnificent rooms, which each feature various artefacts and original furnishings, that make visitors feel as though they have well and truly stepped back in time. The castle is largely built in the Baroque style, and therefore has a very grand feel to it; throughout its history, it has been a social hub for nobility and various famous guests.

Where: Uithuizen, the Netherlands

When: 14th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

23. Radboud Castle

Famous Castles in Netherlands Radboud-Castle

At the end of the 13th century, Count Floris V of Holland ordered for the construction of an array of different castles, and Radboud Castle, or locally known as Kasteel Radboud, is the only remaining one. In the year 1848, massive demolition of the castle began; historic towers and gatehouses where ripped to pieces, and the remains were transferred over to the state in the year 1889. Today, visitors are captivated by the castle’s unusual yet nonetheless fascinating history; it is also, incredibly beautiful to look at, and makes for the perfect place to wander around on a sunny afternoon.

Where: Medemblik, the Netherlands

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

24. Rechteren Castle

Castles in Netherlands Rechteren-Castle

Famed as the only standing castle in Overijssel that was constructed before the middle ages, Rechteren Castle is idyllic, picturesque, and is bursting at the seams with a fascinating history. Since the 1300s, the castle has been owned by the Van Heeckerens, who still, unbelievably, are in possession of it even to this day. The castle has seen a vast amount of renovation over the years, and in the 18th century, two additional wings were added to the entrance. Fascinatingly, the 30-meter tower that exists today is an original from the 13th century.

Where: Overijssel, the Netherlands

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 11:00am – 16:00pm

25. Ruurlo Castle

Best castles in NetherlandsRuurlo-Castle

Situated in the province of Gelderland, which is in the east of Holland, Ruurlo Castle boasts an extensive and fascinating history, which dates way back to the 14th century. Visually, the castle is bold and striking, and the surrounding gardens are absolutely breath-taking; though its roots are in the 14th century, the style of it today very much derives from the 16th and 17th centuries, whereby a more Baroque look takes over. Today, visitors are enticed by the castle’s history, it’s beautiful style and setting, as well as the vast collection of artworks by the Dutch painter, Carel Willink.

Where: Gelderland, the Netherlands

When: 14th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 11:00am – 17:00pm

26. Slangenburg Castle

Famous Castles in Netherlands Slangenburg-Castle

Built-in the late Medieval period, the castle became the property of General Frederik van Baer in the 17th century, who renovated the castle for residential purposes. Today, the castle has a different purpose; it is used as a guesthouse for the Benedictine monastery which is located nearby, St Willibrord’s Abbey. The castle is located in a fairly rural setting and is surrounded by luscious green scenery, making it feel as though it has jumped right out of a fairy tale.

Where: Approximately five kilometers from Doetinchem, the Netherlands

When: 16th century

Style: Late Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 15:00pm

27. Zuylen Castle

Castles in Netherlands Zuylen-Castle

Built-in approximately the year 1520 on the foundations of Medieval ruins, Zuylen Castle has a rich heritage. The castle was originally a moat style, whereby it was surrounded on all sides by water, and may only be accessed by a bridge. In 1752, the castle was rebuilt and renovated into a country manor and hosted all kinds of noble guests and visitors. Today, the castle houses the Zuylen collection, which is a selection of artefacts owned by the Van Tuyll family.

Where: Oud Zuilen, the Netherlands

When: 1520

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 11:00am – 17:00pm

28. Valkenburg

Best castles in Netherlands Valkenburg

Located in the town of Valkenburg in the Dutch province of Limburg, Valkenburg Castle has its roots in the 12th century, whereby the original fortification was built by the Lord of Valkenburg. Over the centuries, the castle has been destroyed and rebuilt on several different occasions, each bringing with it new architectural styles and features. Fascinatingly, in the 1930s, workers discovered a series of underground passages, that were used as escape routs for knights in the middle ages.

Where: Valkenburg, the Netherlands

When: 12th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

As this list of the best 28 castles in the wonderful country of the Netherlands has demonstrated, there are a truly vast array of incredible castles, ranging from ones that are impeccably well-preserved, to those that are left in mere ruins. Each has its own unique history and charm, which makes the Netherlands the perfect destination for history lovers!

 

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