Castle Heeswijk

in Pinmapple9 months ago

My mother-in-law went through a cancer treatment last year. It all looked good and it seemed that the tumor disappeared. We were all happy until we learned a couple of weeks ago that the cancer returned. We don't know more details yet as she is going through countless tests at the moment, but we wanted to take her mind off things and visit her in The Netherlands. It was an impromptu visit and our only goal was to do something fun for a couple of days together as a family.

She enjoys castles as much as we do, so we took her to the Castle Heeswijk which is located only about 30 minutes from her home as she can't manage to sit in the car much longer anymore. She also asked my brother-in-law and his family to join us, so it turned out to be a big family event. Neither I nor my husband knew that they would be coming and we were surprised to hear our names being called from distance. When we turned around we saw our niece and nephew running towards us. I love them dearly, but spending all day with them is let's say challenging. But let's focus on the positive!


Castle Heeswijk is settled in the countryside of the province North Brabant. It dates back to the 11th century when it was constructed as a wooden fortress on a strategic location near the Aa River. The castle had a defensive as well as residential function for nobility. Its name comes from its original owners - The Heeswijk family. The castle stayed in their ownership until the 14th century and then started to change owners frequently. There were almost 40 owners of the castle!


The castle as we see it today is a result of renovation and expansion in the 19th century. Today, you can visit the castle with a guided tour (if you are part of a bigger group) or you can download an app which will help you to navigate through the castle and its history. This is what we did as our group was not big enough for a tour guide.


Our niece and nephew have endless energy, so we walked around the castle before our tour to tire them out a little bit. They were running around and chased ducks (for some some unknown reason), but they still had way too much energy.

There are a couple of walking trails around the castle. You can only walk around its moat like we did or you can take a longer walk through the countryside.


Castle Heeswijk was changing its appearance over the centuries. The most significant transformation happened during the Gothic era when my favorite feature the pointed arches were added. I couldn't wait to enter the courtyard to get a closer look.


The castle is surrounded by tall trees and you can't see it properly when you approach it, so I was surprised to see so many towers and turrets on the construction. Most castles that we visited are situated on top of hills, but there are no hills in North Brabant which makes castles invisible even from a short distance.


There are residential chambers behind those windows that we will visit.




It was supposed to be about 5 minutes walk, but it took us almost 1 hour with two kids, so I was happy when we finally arrived at the ticket office. We purchased the tickets in advance so we could enter the complex without waiting. There is a small restaurant right behind the ticket office and of course we had to stop there to get some ice cream. Luckily, there was some game through the castle for kids, so once we finished the ice cream we could finally enjoy the tour at our own pace.

We downloaded the audio tour app and were ready to go!




The entrance to the castle is through a drawbridge decorated with statues of lions holding coats of arms of the noble family.




We walked around the courtyard before we entered the castle. My favorite part were the pointed arches decorated with coat of arms. Also, look at the roof. It consists of small tiles in various colors and reminds me of roofs in Barcelona.




There are 3 buildings surrounding the courtyard. The biggest one being the residential house, followed by the event hall and the tower. We were excited to climb the tower, but we ended up being disappointed as there is frankly nothing to see. You climb many stairs just to get to a room with tiny windows that you can't even reach. If you would ever visit the castle don't waste your time and energy climbing up the tower. It is really not worth it.

Let's go inside!

The Knight's Hall is an impressive room with high ceilings, intricate stone work, a fireplace decorated with coat of arms of former owner and medieval armor.

When I entered the place I was in awe of its size. It's not that big itself, but the towering ceiling makes it feel like it was at least double of its actual size.


The central personality of the Knight's hall is Baron André depicted on the painting on the right. You might ask why I didn't take a better photo of the painting, but I don't have an answer for that 🙂

He is known for adding many items to the castle which made him and his family live in sort of a museum.


He wanted to show that he is a descendant of real knights, so he put the coat of arms of his family in the center above the fireplace.


He also placed portraits of his family around the Knight's Hall and we can also see there some paintings of the castle.


The Grand Salon is decorated with portraits of former castle owners as well as their families. The only person that is missing is Alberic who was the last resident of the castle. He didn't have good ties with his family and his will read that nobody could live in the castle until his youngest cousin turned 80 years old. At that time his cousin was only 12 years old!







When the baron bought the castle, he decided to create a dining room here for him and his family. In the 19th century it was trendy to have a Chinese dining room when you had a certain status, so the family quickly adapted as they couldn't miss out on this trend. They decorated the room with large mahogany table, green fabric tapestry and Chinese porcelain. The room is not open to public and we could only see it through the glass protection.



The next room that we visited was The Library. The baron seemed to be obsessed with his family tree and most of the books in the library were there to help him with his family research. He was trying to find out if there were kings or emperors in his family line.


This room used to be The Children's Room. Today, it is one of the most charming rooms in the castle, but I might be biased as I love the color of the walls.





The only item that reminds us that it used to be the children's room is this bed.


I have never visited a castle as diverse as castle Heeswijk. There are many floors and in between those floors some rooms are built within the castle with the view of another rooms. It was confusing to navigate, but it was also interesting to explore those strangely set up rooms.

I have no idea what was the purpose of this room, but its ceiling was about 1 meter high, not more. It was so tiny but they still fit there a closet and they placed paintings on the wall!


The Bedroom is the most medieval room in the castle. Its walls are decorated with wooden panels and there are no paintings or other small details. The wooden panels date back to the beginning of the 17th century which I find impressive.


Yes, Chinese porcelain was very popular at that time, and therefore it's placed at most random places.


It must be heavy to hold this construction all the time...



The White Salon used to be the representative room where the guests were welcomed. It is a beautiful room with lots of porcelain, stucco ceiling and baroque furniture.



Blue walls were popular in the castle. This room had everything what a lady needed. I was surprised to see a crib as I thought that kids were not sleeping in the same room with their parents.




There was a queue in front of this room because of the ceiling made with Chinese porcelain bowls. There are 81 of them, not that I counted 🙂


There were so many bedrooms that it made me wonder how many people lived in the castle at one point in time.



Have you ever heard of Delft Blue? It's a famous Dutch pottery manufacture and we saw some of their beautiful pieces in the castle too.



The last room that we visited was the kitchen. I wish I had a kitchen of this size! It was full of equipment and I'm sure they were able to cook any delicious meal here.


They were also quite precise with so many scales 🙂


From the kitchen we headed back to the courtyard where we met with the rest of the family. We got to hear that we were too slow and they were waiting for us FOR AGES. Apparently, it was a tough days for the kids, so they deserved another ice cream. I wish I had parents like this 🙂

As you can see my mother-in-law doesn't really get the concept of photos with only me in them and kept photobombing me, so this is the best what I could get...

Hope, you have enjoyed our trip.

Thank you for reading.



Hi Martina! This is the most beautiful post I've read in a long time: perfect photos and beautiful writing, such a pleasure to see it through to the end. What a beautiful castle and I loved the internal tour, you portrayed it very well. How many luxuries everywhere, a lot of details and everything perfectly preserved. When I see these castles I can't imagine them full of people using things haha, in my mind castles are just museums and touching something would be a disaster for the order and harmony of each space. I was also surprised by the contrast between all the rooms and the kitchen that was hardly decorated: it seems that high society was not even interested in having their employees in a luxurious place, even though their entire house was. A bit selfish, if you ask me.

I hope everyone enjoyed this lovely walk, and I wonder if the children got bored. I have many nephews and they get a bit bored when there are only things to see and nothing to touch haha. I also hope that your mother-in-law enjoyed the walk and that her health improves. Greetings, have a good day ❤️!

Hello hello 🙂 First of all, I apologize for getting back to you after such a long time. I've been on vacation and it actually wasn't the best time ever, so I didn't manage to spend much time online...

Thanks a lot for your lovely comment. I am so happy that you liked my post.

Servants had it difficult at those times. They couldn't even use same halls and staircases. They had their own smaller ones somewhere where nobility couldn't see them. They had to appear invisible and do everything without disturbing their bosses.

I have a feeling that those kids don't have much focus, so they get bored all the time. Thank you for your kind wishes. We hope that she will be better soon! 🙂

Have a lovely day!

I hope your mother-in-law gets better soon.

That is a nice looking castle, and it even has a moat! I am curious if it was deep, because it didn't seem like it from the pictures [and if it can house crocs/alligators haha].

The interior walls were very interesting to look at. Some were very simple, while others were so detailed. The furniture and decoration inside these castles are consistent in being very beautiful. I saw a lot of unique things though, like the porcelain ceiling, and the painted tiles.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Thank you, we hope so too 🙂

Oh, I have no idea how deep it was, but I'm not sure if it ever held alligators though 😁

I actually think that it's one of the most beautiful castles that I have ever visited from the interior perspective. There were indeed so many little details and I'm sure that I missed many of them as well as we couldn't approach the artifacts because there were ropes protecting the rooms..

Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

Hope your mother-in-law will be well.

Great castle, so many beautiful artifacts of the past. The Chinese dining room is my favorite.

his will read that nobody could live in the castle until his youngest cousin turned 80 years old. At that time his cousin was only 12 years old


But how this castle has become a place available to the public? Is it still owned by some barons or some institution, or the state?

Thank you, we hope so too, but we're still worried as it's tough for her mentally right now.

They turned it to museum because they couldn't live there 🙂 It's still owned by the family, or rather their castle foundation.

I think they wouldn't even want to live there now as it costs a fortune to maintain a property like this, so it's probably better to get the ticket fees and probably some profit from the restaurant (or maybe they even own the restaurant)..

Very tough mentally - we had this in the family.

They turned it to museum because they couldn't live there

I got it. I know costs of maintenance can be a problem for heirs (know it from cool series 😁 called White Lotus ❤️).


Thank you, once again @delishtreats to share with the community your true interest in castles, and the most important to share with us the harsh struggle that you mother in law is passing through. I believe that the positive energy that you transmite to her and all of your family will help with the sensitive health issue. Sending to you all my positive thoughts!
Big Hug, my friend

Thank you for your kind words ♥️ I apologize for not getting back to your earlier. There has been way too much going on lately and I didn't have neither time nor energy to spend online.

I hope you are doing great 🙂

Big hug right back at you 😘

Hello Martina! Please don't be upset for didn't reply the comment before... Thank you so much for your attention and care about doing it so! I hope that everything is better with your mother in law

Your touching story of visiting the castle amidst challenges, highlighting family strength and joy is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt experience.

Thank you for your kind words! 😍

What a wonderful place, I love castles and every time you publish one I am amazed. The exteriors fascinate me, the constructions and styles, in this particular case that is surrounded by water.

The interiors are impeccable, I was struck by the walls and the state of conservation of each object. Impressive. Thank you @delishtreats ❤️

Thank you! I'm glad that you like them 🙂 As you can see I love castles too 😉

And I travel with you to those wonderful places, between the pictures and my imagination I think I'm there, thank you!

What a great place to visit. Totally loving the moat there - gives it a fantastic setting.
Sorry to hear about your mother in law's health, but it's great you are all spending time with her.

Dear @delishtreats, you just got hugged.
I sent 1.0 HUG on behalf of @hoosie.

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words.

We all hope that she will get better and beat the cancer again! 🙂

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Interesting place. And yes, with the rise of social media, the attention span of the younger generation shortens. I do hope the found many points of interest from your trip. 😁

Oh, they are too young for social media. My niece is 5 years old and nephew is 3 years old 🙂 They found everything while playing that game, so they were happy, but I don't think that the castle itself was very interesting for them...

Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

Everything you show is so beautiful. Amsterdám has always been a place that I must see someday, but, when I go, I need to see much of all the beautiful things you show us. Thank you for showing us these places in the world💚

Amsterdam is far away from this place 🙂 It's actually on the other side of the country, so when you visit it and want to see places like this you need to book a couple of weeks to manage the travel 🙂

Thank you for stopping by!

What a great tour! Such an interesting castle and castle owner. I love your tours. :)

Thank you Sara! 🙂

Cancer is a very nasty disease but glad to hear that your mother-in-law has recovered and this very beautiful place here as we see it is an old fashioned building with many under it. What is more beautiful is that by going to such places, a person gets a lot of information about the old times and what a person tells his children in the coming life.

Hiya, @ybanezkim26 here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Top 3 in Daily Travel Digest #1963.

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What a fort...magnificent, beautiful amazing. Looking at the porcelain utensils, it seems as if they have been imported from China.
The fort is massive and grand on the inside, and the furnishings inside feel a tad modern for its time.

Best wishes to your mother-in-law. The castle is really beautiful☺️☺️

Thank you! 😘

You’re welcome

I'm so sorry to read about your mother Martina, that is a very difficult situation to deal with, but your impromptu visit I'm sure did her a lot of good and lifted her spirits. That castle is epic. It always makes me happy to see places like this restored and looked after. That Chinese dining room is really quite something.

It will be a family outing you will remember forever. Great photos too.

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words, Emma 😘

I apologize for my late reply. It's been a tough time and I didn't manage to be online that much..

Please don't apologize, I also lost a few days over this weekend so I totally get it 🤗 Looking forward to more of your outings in the future and sending you comforting hugs, I know it's not an easy time.

My best wishes to to your mother in law and I hope she stays strong and beats cancer again. I'm happy for the castle you all got to visit as it seems a pretty good way to take your mind away from different things 😁

Thanks a lot for your kind wishes Gabriela! 😘 We do our best to comfort her, but there are so many things happening in our family recently, so I couldn't get back to your earlier..

No need to say sorry. Real life will always be more important 🙏🏻💓

What a gorgeous, classic castle. The moat and the drawbridge are perfect plus the towers. I hope you succeeded in taking your mother-in-laws mind off life for a bit 🙂

Beautiful castle