Batenburg Castle, locally known as Kasteel Batenburg, lies in the village with the same name, in the Gelderland province in the Netherlands.
Concerning the origin of Batenburg Castle there are two traditions. The first one is that the castle was founded by a Batavian warrior prince named Bato who left his homelands together with a lot of his warriors to settle in the Betuwe region and who built his headquarters at this site.The second one is that at this site a fortification was founded together with a Roman temple dedicated to the Roman god Mars/Victor. No evidence has been found for either one.
More likely a stone keep on a motte will have existed here in the 12th century. Around 1300 a member of the Van Bronckhorst-Batenburg family is suspected to have started the construction of the castle, possibly a stone shell keep. This castle was partially destroyed in 1497 by the troops of Albert van Saksen. It was restored, strengthening the circular rampart with an entrance gate, flanked by two watchtowers, and 3 residential towers to the four winds. Opposite the entrance gate lay 3 residential wings around a courtyard.
In 1503 Batenburg Castle was besieged by Charles II, Duke of Guelders, and a part of the castle's defenses were again destroyed. After rebuilding it was again destroyed in 1540 by an expedition of the city of Nijmegen. And during a bombardment in 1568 by the troops of Philips van Hohenlohe, the oldest part of the castle collapsed.
Around 1600 the castle was rebuilt by Maximilaan van Bronckhorst. Under Count Johan van Hoorne the castle was restored and furnished with splendor. But when, in 1700, the castle came into the possession of the Counts of Bentheim-Steinfurt, the castle already wasn't permanently inhabited anymore.
In 1795 the castle's fate was sealed; after its rooms were filled with hay and the water pump was destroyed, the castle was set alight by the French invaders. Batenburg Castle completely burned down. It was never rebuilt again and its ruins started a life as a stone quarry for cheap building materials.
In 1820 the standing remains of the castle were considerable larger than today. But from then on the owner, Count Van Bentheim-Steinfurt, started to demolish the ruin. And even in 1922 the castle suffered gunshots.
After WW II the castle ruins were confiscated by the State and in 1953 sold to the "Friends of the Castles of Gelderland"-foundation. From then on the ruins underwent several consolidation processes.
This is a romantic ruin in a nice little village. Too bad it's not accessible.