Heemstede Castle, locally known as Kasteel Heemstede, lies in a field west of the town of Houten, in the Utrecht province in the Netherlands.
Heemstede Castle is not a real medieval castle. It was built in 1645 as a manor in Dutch Baroque style by Hendrick de Pieck. Its medieval predecessor, also called Heemstede Castle, was situated some 500 meters to the west/south west, in what is now the Vuilcopse Polder.
When Heemstede Castle was built everything was focused on comfort and luxury and it became one of the most famous estates in the province of Utrecht. It is characterized by its severe symmetrical exterior. The four corner towers gave the castle a feudal appearance and the castle can be seen as a 17th century variant of a medieval tower house.
After Hendrick de Pieck several other owners followed. Between 1680 and 1695 Heemstede Castle was owned by Diederick van Veldhuysen who embellished the interior and laid out the large baroque gardens. In 1720 the castle again changed hands. Its new owner however destroyed the gardens; most of the trees were cut down and the lead of the fountains was sold.
In 1919 L.J. Heijmeijer, coming from an Amsterdam family of corn merchants, bought the dilapidated castle which had been standing empty for several years. He restored the castle and the gardens and used it as a summer residence. During World War II the castle was inhabited by friars from Zeist and after 1968 the castle stood empty again. In 1972 the castle was sold by the Heijmeijer family and under the new owner restorations were carried out in 1974. On January 10th, 1987 however the castle was destroyed by a large fire.
In 1999 the castle was bought by a building company who rebuilt the castle. This restoration was finished in 2002. The castle is now used as an office for a real estate company and there is a restaurant with 1 Michelin Star in the basement. It can only be visited as a guest of the restaurant.
So, although Heemstede Castle has no real medieval background I have included it on my site because I like its appearance very much.