Doorwerth Castle (Holland)

Gelderland     See list of castles in Olanda

The castle of Doorwerth, locally known as Kasteel Doorwerth, is located at the foot of the wooded hills south of the homonymous village, in the province of Gelderland, in the Netherlands.

The castle of Doorwerth was known in the past as the castle of Dorenweerd. The current spelling of its name dates back to around 1800.

The first castle, probably made of wood, was first mentioned in 1260 when it was besieged and burned to the ground as a result. It was rebuilt in stone. In 1280 this second castle was again besieged and now the prison was burned. This original castle probably consisted of a simple two-storey high pavilion with 1.20 meter thick walls and a surrounding moat fed by the nearby Rhine river.

During the 14th century the castle was continuously extended. Until 1402 the castle of Doorwerth was owned by the Van Dorenweerd family. Then it was dedicated to the Count of Gelre; Reinald IV by Robert van Dorenweerd. In exchange, Robert was granted the castle and his land in fiefdom. Around the middle of the fifteenth century the castle was again enlarged. This time by the knight Reinald van Homoet, the tenth lord of Dorenweerd, who was also the owner of the castle of Doornenburg.

Doorwerth Castle reached its largest form only after the mid-16th century under Daem Schellart van Obbendorf, the 15th Lord of Dorenweerd. He transformed the castle and group of buildings into the bailey into a unit and adapted them to the need for more space and comfort. Thus in 1560 the castle of Doorwerth had had its present appearance. And around 1637 the bailey was rebuilt to its present appearance and a dam was built around the castle to prevent it from flooding the Rhine river.

Shortly after, the castle changed ownership due to financial problems and was granted in fief to a German count; Anton I van Aldenburg. His successors did not alter the castle or the courtyard, but acquired only more land. At the end of the 18th century the castle was no longer inhabited but was treated by an administrator for its owners who now lived in England.

This caused the castle to be neglected when it was purchased, in 1837, by Baron JAP. van Brakell. He carried out an accurate restoration and a complete modernization of the castle. This rebirth of the castle lasted only for a short time. In fact, after the death of the baron, in 1844, the castle fell into disuse again and would certainly have collapsed if it had not been bought, in 1910, by a retired artillery officer; DOES. Hoefer. Once again the castle was completely restored, canceling some of the 19th century modifications and additions. After 1913 it was used as a Dutch artillery museum.

The castle suffered heavily in 1944 when it was turned into a devastating ruin due to German destructiveness and Allied bombing. Immediately after the Second World War there was a long restoration that lasted until 1983. At that point the castle was again in its eighteenth century and was owned by the "Friends of the Castles of Gelderland" - a foundation that now exploits the castle as a museum. The bailey buildings are used as hotels.

Images of the castle

Castles in Holland

Loevestein Castle


Doorwerth Castle


Horn Castle


Bourtange Fortress


Useful infos

Latitude: 51.9667529
Longitude: 5.7886569
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Map of Doorwerth Castle