A little history
Nijenbeek Castle was first mentioned in 1266 as a fortified house on the banks of the IJssel river. It was
owned by a Dirk, Lord of Nijenbeek. It was built at a strategic site at a bend of the river. Especially under
the rule of Count Otto I of Gelre (1184-1207) there was continual warfare with the Bishop of Utrecht, which
caused the position of Nijenbeek Castle, near the border of the Oversticht, to be of great strategic
The keep was probably built after 1255 when the region settled down. Also some outbuildings, stables and
sheds, and a flour mill were build near the keep.
In 1296 there was no record of a separate bailey. But from then on a bailey gradually developed until 1383
when a full bailey was mentioned in a deed.
At the beginning of the 16th century the castle seems to have lost its strategic importance. In 1506 the
Gelrian Duke Karel van Egmond sold the castle. In 1523 the bailey was partially demolished which caused the
castle to lose its defensive disposition. Shortly after 1533 the castle was adjusted for permanent habitation.
During the 80-Years War, the castle suffered considerable damage due to a Spanish siege in 1585 and a siege
by the State troops a year later.
In 1672 Johan Maurits van Nassau moved into the castle and deployed an army of 22.000 men alongside the IJssel
river. But it didn't come to a battle. However the French occupied the entire Veluwe region, Nijenbeek Castle,
as opposed to other castles, wasn't destroyed. Probably because the then owner; Johan Thomas van Steenbergen,
had gotten a safeguard from the Duke of Luxembourg; one of the French army commanders.
In the middle of the 18th century and in the 19th and 20th century the castle underwent some renovations.
In 1945 the whole castle was shelled by Canadian troops because the castle was used by the German troops as a
lookout post. Since then the castle fell into decay. The black and white picture above shows the WW 2 damage.
Location and contact information
At Nijenbeekseweg near nr. 56 in Voorst.
Nijenbeek Castle Links
A very nice old aerial picture of the castle.
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