A Wonderful Place for Ice Skating

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A Wonderful Place for Ice Skating (Dutch info)

Castle Duurstede is a medieval castle in Wijk bij Duurstede in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Origin and development

The castle originated in the 13th century. Around 1270, Zweder I van Zuylen van Abcoude built a freestanding keep on a raised and moated site near the lost city Dorestad. Until the beginning of the 15th century Duurstede Castle was in possession by the Van Zuylen van Abcoude family, until they were forced to sell it to the bishops of Utrecht in 1449.

Bishop David of Burgundy, who reigned from 1459 to 1496, completely rebuilt the castle. The old donjon was enclosed by new buildings. The still intact burgundian tower was also built around this time. His successors Frederick IV of Baden and Philip of Burgundy also used the castle as their residence, and Philip of Burgundy embellished the castle with renaissance features. Philip of Burgundy settled at Duurstede Castle when he became bishop of Utrecht in 1517. He was accompanied by his court painter Mabuse (Jan Gossaert), who helped to decorate the new palace of his master. At Philip's death, in 1524, Mabuse designed and erected his tomb in the church of Wijk bij Duurstede. After Philip's death, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor confiscated all territorial possessions of the bishopric of Utrecht, including Duurstede Castle.

Later years

In 1580, as a result of the Dutch Revolt, the castle fell into the hands of the States of Utrecht. The states, however, invested their money into building modern fortification around Wijk bij Duurstede, and as a result the castle fell into neglect. Further damage was done when french troops devastated Wijk by Duurstede in 1672, after which the townspeople used stone from the castle to rebuild their homes.

In 1852 the town council became owner of the castle and turned the surrounding fortifications into a park. Until 1925 the castle could only be reached by a little ferry.

The Donjon

The old donjon built by Zweder van Abcoude in the 13th century has withstood the passage of time reasonably well, and is an excellent example of medieval towers. The walls are 2.5 meters thick; the original entrance was at the second level and could only be reached with a wooden ladder that could be removed or destroyed in times of need.

The Burgundian Tower

One of the corner towers of the old castle was expanded in the 15th century into its current form. While the rest of the castle had a more residential purpose, the Burgundian tower obviously had a military purpose. It is more than 40 meters high, and has very thick walls.

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Comments (20)

Jack Tol on February 16, 2012

Dat is i.d.d. een vorstelijk schaatsplekje Eric. Heel mooie opname van met name ook deze overblijfselen.



M.Kranenborg-Torn on February 16, 2012

's zomers ligt het verscholen achter de bomen, mooi om het zo tezien. Like.

Groetjes van Greetje

Erik van den Ham on February 16, 2012

Dank jullie Jack en Greetje een veel fraaier decor voor schaatspret kan je toch haast niet hebben.

Slaap lekker voor zo, Erik

Teunis Haveman on February 16, 2012

Dit is toch wel een heel apart gebouw

Je kon er nu van allekanten bij komen

Mooie informatie



Gr Teunis

Erik van den Ham on February 16, 2012

Ja zo'n winterse periode geeft toegang tot plekjes waar je anders niet komen kan Teunis. Toch kan je hier ook heel goed om heen lopen als er geen ijs is.

Groeten, Erik

~Marlene~ No Views! on February 17, 2012

Lovely spot for ice skating and picture taking, Erik... beautifully captured!

Greetings, Marlene

cjlin on February 17, 2012

What a great old castle. Nice capture. cjlin

stacy metcalf on February 17, 2012

Beautiful architecture, fantastic ruins and splendid capture, Erik. i wish i could skate...

Kind regards, well wishes & L#6 from Kelowna

stacy metcalf on February 17, 2012

Thanks for the 'history'. looking at the map is helpful too ;)

Annelies Vink on February 17, 2012

Werkelijk een fantastische plek om te schaatsen, Erik. Een prachtig winters tafereel, like

groeten, Annelies

Geerten on February 17, 2012

ha, vorige week ook geweest... heb je niet gezien. ;-)

arno18 on February 17, 2012

Wonderful photo! Congratulations. LIKE .

bdeh on February 17, 2012

Erg aparte plek om te schaatsen en/of ijshockey te spelen Erik. Heel MOOI vastgelegd, groeten Berend

Louisa H on February 17, 2012

Het zou ook een heel mooi schilderij zijn geweest in de tijd van Breugel, Erik...


Nadia Kushnir on February 17, 2012

Excellent photo! LIKE!

Ria Overbeeke on February 18, 2012

Prachtige foto! Lijkt me fantastisch mooi om hier te schaatsen met een heerlijk winterzonnetje erbij!

EdwardTurJ on February 20, 2012

Excellent photo!
Greetings from Czernowitz in Ukraine, Edward

Ray1900 on February 21, 2012

Prachtige locatie om te schaatsen!! LIKE

Groet, Ray.

© BraCom (Bram) on February 22, 2012

prachtig plekje inderdaad, mooie foto met dit licht van dit kasteel Erik like

Thanasis Germanos on February 26, 2012

It's a very nice picture and view. L13!!!! Greetings and best wishes Thanasis

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 16, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Erik van den Ham