Heeswijk Castle, also known as Kasteel Heeswijk, is located near Heeswijk in the North Brabant province of the Netherlands. The castle was originally constructed during the 11th century and was later restored in 2005. A motte was first erected in 1080, but would be reduced over the next few centuries. A castle would eventually be built in its place.
Heeswijk Castle History
Heeswijk Castle was an integral part of the history of the Netherlands. Prince Mauritis failed twice to take over Heeswijk in 1600. His half-brother Frederick Henry, however, did succeed in 1629. This allowed him to attack ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
In 1649, the castle was transformed into a baroque residence and lost its defensive features. In 1672, Louis XIV stayed at Heeswijk while campaigning against the Dutch Republic. King Charles II of England as well as the bishops of Munster and Cologne visited the castle to sign the Treaty of Heeswijk.
General Pichegru, who was under Napolean’s command, used the castle as a headquarters in the late 18th century. In the early 1800s, the castle was purchased by Andre Baron van den Bogaerde van Terbrugge. However, by this time, the castle had already fallen into a state of disrepair. Reconstruction began and the castle was then expanded to include an armory. The “Iron Tower” was also constructed and served as a place to store his son’s collection of art and curiosa.
Surprisingly, the castle only suffered minimal damage during World War II. In 1944, the parachutists of the 101st Airborne Division actually landed around Heeswijk Castle.
The castle is now owned by the Heeswijk Castle Foundation.
Visiting Heeswijk Castle
Today, the castle serves as a museum, where guided tours are available. The tour takes you through the castle’s salon and Knight’s Hall, through the Chinese room and past the Baron’s Library. The Tower Rooms are also explored as well as the servant’s room. The museum hopes to give visitors a glimpse into what it would have been like to live during the medieval era. Several cultural events are also held at the castle.
The castle is available for special events and celebrations for groups as small as 5 and as large as 250. The brasserie, located in the Coach House, can provide catering for events, but also serves as an eatery for museum visitors as well. The Coach House overlooks the castle’s gardens and provides guests with stunning views all year long.
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