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Egmond Castle - Ruins

Egmond Castle was a 13th century castle built by Wouter van Egmond. Today, the castle stands in ruins and can be found in the town of Egmond aan den Hoef. The original structure consisted of a square castle, moat and an outer ward with a gate house.

Egmond Castle History

Egmond Castle - Around 1638 by Claes Dircksz. van der Heck
Egmond Castle – Around 1638 by Claes Dircksz. van der Heck

Wouter van Egmond constructed a circular castle made from stone in 1203. The structure stood strong until the end of the 15th century and was primarily used as a place of refuge. Residential buildings were constructed along the outer ward and were surrounded by a palisade built with wood.

In 1285, efforts were made to replace the original castle. The new castle would be placed on the eastern side of the outer ward. A new outer ward would also be constructed on the western side of the original rectangular ward.

Unfortunately, the castle was completely destroyed by the Frisians in 1321. Jan I van Egmond rebuilt the castle and in 1400, a canal was dug. This made the castle accessible via boat. During the 15th century, the castle was expanded and renovated once again. The moat was closed off at the southern and northern side thanks to the newly built gates and was then referred to simply as the castle pond. A gatehouse was added to the outer ward as well as four corner towers.

In 1573, Willem van Oranje (the Prince of Orange) ordered Diderick Sonoy troops to burn down the castle in an attempt to prevent the Spanish from capturing the castle and using it as a strategic advantage. From that point on, the castle remained in its ruined state.

Egmond Castle - View on the RuinsThe ruins were then sold in 1798 and all but the Rentmeester tower was demolished. In 1832, this tower was also badly damaged as the foundation of the castle shifted over time. In the 1930s, the castle grounds were excavated as part of an unemployment relief effort. Unfortunately, much of the details of the findings were lost and not properly analyzed. However, pottery, weapons and other artifacts were found at the site. The castle’s foundations were then raised above ground using stones that were found on the castle grounds.

Today, the ruins sit on a small island surrounded by water and tourists can visit the castle ruins. A portion of the tower still remains and the castle’s foundation gives you a clear picture of the castle’s original layout.


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