Doorwerth Castle (in Dutch: Kasteel Doorwerth) is a medieval castle near Arnhem, Netherlands. The castle sits along the river Rhine and now home to three museums. Just behind the castle are beautiful forests, meadows and fields that visitors can cycle or hike through.
The original Doorwerth castle was likely built out of wood. The first mention of the castle was in 1260 after it was invaded and burned to the ground. A new stone castle would take its place. In 1280, the castle was once again invaded and the bailey was destroyed. It is speculated that the castle included a small hall keep, had walls that were 1 meter thick and stood two stories tall. Like other castles in the country, the original Doorwerth had a surrounding moat that was fed by the river Rhine.
In the 14th century, the castle was expanded by the Van Dorenweerd family, who was granted the castle and land in fief. During the 15th century, Doorwerth was once again expanded, but at this time it was done so by Knight Reinald van Homoet. Homoet was the 10th Lord of Dorenweerd and the owner of the castle at the time.
In the middle of the 16th century, the castle reached its peak in size and remained occupied until the 18th century. When the castle was purchased in 1837 by baron JAP van Brakell, the castle had fallen into ruin. Van Brakell restored the castle and modernized it as well. Unfortunately, the castle would once again be neglected after the baron’s death and would remain in ruin until 1910 when Frederic Adolph Hoefer purchased the castle. After being restored, the castle was turned into a Dutch Artillery Museum in 1913.
During World War II, the castle suffered great damage and restorations had to once again be carried out. These lasted from 1940s until the early 1980s. Today, the castle serves as a museum and is looked after by the Friends of the Castles of Gelderland foundation. The interior of the castle has been restored to its 18th century state. Doorwerth was also investigated by the Most Haunted television show in an attempt to find paranormal activity within the castle walls.
Doorwerth can be visited by the public Tuesday – Sunday from 11AM until 5PM. The castle also has three special rooms that can be reserved for weddings, meetings and parties.
Many special events are held at the castle throughout the year and especially during the holiday season. There is also a café inside of the castle where visitors can enjoy a bite to eat or a cup of coffee.
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