Located in the Dutch province of North Brabant, this castle – whose origin dates back to the 11th century – has played a crucial role in the history of the Netherlands. In the very early 17th century, Prince Maurits tried to take possession of the castle twice, without success.
His half-brother Frederick Henry finally succeeded in 1629.
In 1672, Louis XIV stayed at the castle during his campaign against the Dutch Republic.
At the end of the 18th century, General Pichegru (a French general under the command of Napoleon) used the castle as his headquarters. In 1835, André Baron van den Bogaerde van Terbrugge (governor of North Brabant) bought the castle (which had fallen into ruin) and started large-scale reconstruction work. He had the “iron tower” built to house his sons and his growing collection of art and curiosities.
Long after the baron’s death (1855), between 1897 and 1903, the “Van den Bogaerde Collection” was sold at numerous sensational auctions. The countless weapons, armour, paintings, furniture, sculptures, porcelain, earthenware, silverware, forging, several thousand bottles of wine, thousands of cigars, … almost all the masterpieces of the castle are scattered all over the world.
Heeswijk Castle now houses a museum that highlights the life and traditions of the mid-nineteenth century.
After a recent restoration (2005) guided tours of the castle are offered.