Huis ten Berghe Castle
Huis ten Berghe Castle, locally known as Huis ten Berghe, lies on a graveyard in the Hillegersberg neighborhood in the city of Rotterdam, in the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. The name "Huis ten Berghe" means house at the hill.
The castle was built in the first half of the 13th century on a motte surrounded by a moat. Next to the castle lay a church and a farm which both originate from the 11th or beginning of the 12th century.
About the origin of the motte, the castle and the church a legend was told. Once there was a female giant called Hillegond. She went to the beach and filled her skirt with sand because she wanted to reinforce the soil at the spot were she wanted to build her castle. While walking her skirt ripped open and the sand fell to the ground. And so the castle and church got built there.
The possible founder is Count Willem II. After the keep was built on a sandy layer, a hill was manually thrown up around the keep up to the height of the original entrance on the first floor.
The castle was mentioned in a document of Count Floris V in 1269. Later it came into the possession of the family Van Mathenesse. In 1426 the castle was burned and destroyed by the troops of Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut.
There are no images from the castle from before 1426. And later ones show the castle as a ruin. Until 1832 the ruin lay forgotten behind the church. In that year a graveyard was laid out around the church and the castle ruin, because the the people of Hillegersberg weren't allowed to bury their dead in the church anymore.
In 1940 the castle ruin underwent preservation works. In 1969-1970 excavations were carried out. But because there are graves in and directly around the ruin these were very limited.
The castle ruin consists of a square, brick keep which has a dimension of 10 x 10 meters and walls of 1,35 meters thick. The present-day entrance was made in the 19th century when vaults were being constructed inside the ruin. At present the floor of the keep is totally covered with tombstones.