Kasteel Doorwerth is located 16 km up west from where I live. It takes 20 minutes ride by car. This castle was my husband’s playground when he was a child. He grew up in the village of Doorwerth, which is only 2 km from this castle.
First mention found about this castle dated in 1260. It was besieged and burned to the ground by lord of Vianen, carrying out the condemnation of Count of Gelre (where Gelderland province’s name, the location of the castle, is named after) and the bishop of Utrecht. It was a wooden castle then. It is said that the castle’s owner, Lord Berend van Dorenweerd was spreading chaos by robbing the surrounded villages in the area. Twenty years later, Berend’s son, Hendric, rebuilt it in stone. In 1430 Reinald van Homoet took over the castle. He had it expanded.
The castle had been owned by many other noble families eversince but they rarely lived there. The major renovation in 1560 executed by Adam Schellaert van Obbendorf, Lord of Gürzenich gave the castle its appearance as it is now. In 1672 French king, Louis XIV annexed the country. He destroyed many castles along his routes. Fortunately Castle Doorwerth’s owner at that time a Danish noble man Anton van Aldenburg, succeeded protecting it.
During World War II in September 1944 the castle barely survived the heavy bombings along the Rhine river. Full renovation was completed in 1983. This is why Kasteel Doorwerth is one of well-preserved medieval castle in The Netherlands.
The castle now
Kasteel Doorwerth is one of well-preserved medieval castle in The Netherlands. The part where the owners used to live is now accessible for public. The current owner is Geldersch Landschap en kastelen, a foundation which manages and renovates landscapes and castles in Gelderland province. A left wing belongs to Bilderberg chain hotel. It is used as a café, meeting and wedding venue. The garden at the front has a diversity of the local plants.
- The giant Robina Acacia tree is planted in 1601. So this tree is 413 years old! (See pic)
- In 2004 a British crew of The Most Haunted filmed the castle in the night. They captured an entity in the film, believed to be a ghost of a young girl. This had brought publications for the castle. The manager saw a significant rise of visitor after the film was broadcasted in July 2004.
Another 2 to go
As a history nerd, an amateur photographer and a loyal fan of costumes films/series (I have been following The Game of Thrones currently) I love visiting castles. Kasteel Doorwerth is one of the four castles located within 20 km radius from where I live. I wrote about Kasteel Doornenburg in February. The other two: Kasteel Rosendael and Kasteel Bemmel are coming up!
Kastelen in Gelderland