The article below was published in Pinnable’s newsletter in .

Doorwerth Castle

A Castle with a Pleasant Seat

Close to the floodplains of the Nederrijn river, at the bottom of the moraine in the south of the Veluwe, is Doorwerth Castle, a moated castle dating back to about 1280, when the rectangular tower that is now the east wing was built. It was here that I first understood the etymology of the Dutch word ‘vensterbank’ — as a child I had often wondered why a windowsill is called a window bench, but it all became clear when I saw the window seats in the 1⅕-m-thick walls of the Knights’ Hall. In the 14th to 16th centuries the castle was enlarged with two additional wings & the large tower on the western side; it took its current form in the 17th century, after the gatehouse, the coach house & the stables were added. The castle was ruined in the Battle of Arnhem (1944), and restored to its old glory in the years between 1946 and 1983.

A false acacia tree hiding Doorwerth Castle from view
A false acacia tree hiding Doorwerth Castle from view

None of the original furniture is still present at Doorwerth Castle. Several medieval & 17th-century period rooms & the 19th-century kitchen show what the interior looked like in bygone days. In the south wing are exhibitions on forestry & hunting, both of which are activities typically associated with the day-to-day operations of a castle, and a collection of paintings depicting the landscapes of Renkum, Wolfheze & Oosterbeek. Outside the castle walls is a large & well-tended historical kitchen garden in Dutch classicist style, with common plants such as chicory, fennel & beetroot, as well as forgotten vegetables such as parsnip, Good King Henry & Jerusalem artichoke. The 5-km-long circular walk from the castle to the viewpoint at the Duno Estate is somewhat of a climb, but the prospect from the moraine is well worth the effort.

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This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air nimbly & sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses.