Haamstede Castle, locally known as Slot Haamstede, lies in the village of Haamstede in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands.
The first Haamstede Castle dates back to the 12th century. It probably consisted of a wooden keep on a motte, circled by a moat. There is also archeological evidence of Roman habitation on this site. Around 1200 this castle came into the possession of Floris IV, Count of Holland. In 1229 the castle went to the Lords of Zierikzee through an exchange with Floris IV. The new inhabitants of the castle called themselves Van Haamstede.
Around 1300 the last of the Van Haamstede line died and Haamstede Castle fell to the Count of Holland, John II of Avesnes. He loaned the castle to his half brother, Witte, a bastard son of Count Floris V. Witte started to call himself Witte van Haemstede.
At the end of the 13th century a new square, brick keep was built west of its predecessor. This new keep was guarded by a rectangular defensive wall.
In the mid-15th century the descendants of Witte got into financial troubles and lost the castle as a result. Louis de Gruuthuse, a Flemish nobleman from Bruges, became the new owner of Haamstede Castle. He enlarged it considerably.
In 1525 Haamstede Castle burned down after a party had gone out of hand and it fell to ruin. 80 Years later, in the 17th century, the castle was rebuilt and the medieval keep was provided with 2 square towers on both sides. The smallest one served as a stair tower.
During the 19th and 20th century the castle was renovated twice until it got its present appearance.
At present Haamstede Castle is owned by the Vereniging Natuurmonumenten, a society for the preservation of nature monuments in the Netherlands. It can not be visited, only on special occasions. The castle woods are freely accessible. A nice castle. I hope to visit it again someday and see its interior.