Ammersoyen Castle, locally known as Kasteel Ammersoyen, lies next to the village of Ammerzoden, in the Gelderland province in the Netherlands.
Ammersoyen Castle was built around 1350 near the Maas river by the Van Herlaer family. It has a rectangular almost square layout of four wings centered around a little courtyard with heavy round towers at its four corners. It shows similarity to other square castles like Helmond Castle, Muiden Castle and the partially remaining Radboud Castle. Ammersoyen Castle is connected to the separate bailey by a bridge and the entire site is moated.
In 1386 already, the castle was taken by force by Willem van Gulik, the Duke of Gelre. The Dukes of Gelre remained owners of the castle for 25 years.
In 1412 Duke Reinald V granted the castle to his bastard son; Willem van Wachtendonk, who in 1424 sold the castle to Johan van Broekhuizen, Lord of Waardenburg.
In 1496 the Van Arkel family married into ownership of the castle. This family lived in the castle until 1694.
In 1513 the castle was damaged during a siege and following occupation by Burgundian troops, lead by Count Henry III of Nassau-Dillenburg-Dietz. In 1574 the castle was again occupied, this time by Spanish troops. The hasty departure from the castle by the troops of Prince Willem van Oranje kept the castle from any serious damage. In 1590 however the castle was not so lucky; it was gutted by a great fire which left it in ruins. Due to the threat of the 80-Years War the rebuilding of the castle didn't start until 1648. The rebuilding took 19 years. Peculiar enough the castle wasn't rebuilt to a 17th century house but to its medieval appearance. Although modernizations were carried out inside, a lot of medieval elements remained behind plaster and bricked up doorways.
The existence of Ammersoyen Castle was again threatened in 1672 when French troops invaded the Netherlands, destroying many castles on their path. The last Lord of the Van Arkel family saved the castle by paying a ransom of fl 7000,- to the French troops. This left him in big financial trouble and he died in 1694.
After his death the castle was successively owned by several families from the Southern Netherlands (present day Belgium). It wasn't permanently lived in because its owners spent most of their time at their estates in Belgium.
The last Lord of Ammersoyen was a Baron Arthur de Woelmont. During 1868 he entertained an English writer; John Box, who wrote a book about the castle called: Chronicles of the Castle of Amelroy or Ammerzode, illustrated with photographs of the castle and its interior.
This Baron sold the castle, completely emptied, in 1873 to the Roman Catholic Church of Ammerzoden, presumably after he lost a game of dice with the local priest. The Church then founded a convent in the castle. The moat was filled in and a large chapel was built against and incorporated in the castle.
The castles religious use ended abruptly in WW II when the castle was heavily shelled by Allied troops. After the war its remains were used by a local business man as a factory producing washing machines, until 1957 when the "Friends of the Castles of Gelderland"-foundation bought the castle and started an extensive restoration. When the restoration was finished in 1975 the castle was back in its medieval appearance.
At present the castle is partly a museum and partly used as an office. The museum part can be visited for a fee.