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.
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.glk.nl