Doornenburg Castle, locally known as Kasteel Doornenburg, lies next to the village with the same name, in the Gelderland province in the Netherlands.
Doornenburg Castle is a good example of a late medieval castle with a bailey. The castle is first mentioned in 1295. It isn't known how the castle looked back then. The oldest parts of the present structure date back to the 14th century. The castle then consisted of a large hall with cellars and a walled rectangular courtyard on a moated island. There's evidence that the hall was plastered red on the outside.
In the 15th century the courtyard was gradually built over. Also the various parts were continually heightened which, finally in the 16th century, gave the castle its present block shaped appearance.
The formidable walled bailey in its present form dates back to the 15th century. The chapel is probably a 16th century addition while the domestic buildings and the farm on the bailey date back to the 17th-18th century.
There's really not much to tell about the history of the castle up until 1936. It was never besieged, it didn't play any role in the political history of the Netherlands and no one of fame ever resided in it. In its history it was, among some others, owned by the families Van Doornik, Van Bylandt and van Homoet.
In 1936 the castle was bought, in dilapidated shape, by a local industrialist JH. van Heek (who had previously also bought Bergh Castle), who handed it over to his "Foundation for preservation of the Doornenburg". A large restoration followed, which was completed in 1941.
This was obviously bad timing as the castle became situated in the front line in 1944, following the failed Battle of Arnhem. The castle then became a German headquarter which caused the castle to be destroyed by British bombers on March 14, 1945. The fleeing Germans then blew up the gate building. Although rebuilding the castle seemed a lost cause, the foundation again started to rebuild the castle in its late-medieval style. In 1966 Doornenburg Castle had risen again.
Doornenburg Castle is a nice castle to visit although you have to keep in mind that the present structure is predominantly the result of the 20th century rebuilding following WW2. The walled bailey is unique in the Netherlands. The bailey is freely accessible, only guided tours of the castle.