IJsselstein Castle, locally known as Kasteel IJsselstein, lies in the town with the same name in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
When the first castle at this was built isn't known. It was however built near the banks of the IJssel river and its history was always linked to that of the town of IJsselstein.
In 1144 there is already a Lord of IJsselstein but no mention of the castle. The castle was first mentioned 1279.
In 1297 Gijsbrecht van Amstel, Lord of IJsselstein, refused to place his castle at the disposal of the Count of Holland. This resulted in his imprisonment and a year-long siege of the castle. It was defended by Gijsbrecht's wife Berta and a small number of soldiers. In 1309 the castle was returned to Gijsbrecht. His son Arnoud had to defend the castle in 1349 during a five-week-long siege by the Bishop of Utrecht. In 1356 the bailey of the castle was taken by a small group of townspeople of Utrecht, who were driven out after they had set fire to the buildings on the bailey.
In 1417 the medieval castle and the town were taken by Willem van Egmond. This caused a siege by allies of the Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut. Willem van Egmond surrendered and left. The Countess ordered the demolition of the entire castle and the town walls. How this first castle looked isn't known. In 1418 she even ordered the demolition of all the houses in the town; only religious buildings were left standing. The grounds of castle and town were returned to the Van Egmond family in 1421.
Members of this family started rebuilding IJsselstein Castle in 1470 and ten years later it was defendable again. In 1510/11 the castle was again sieged by troops of the city of Utrecht and two towers were shot to pieces.
Between 1527 and 1532 the castle was enlarged with several buildings and also the tower we see today. This tower (a stair tower) and part of the moat are all that remains today of IJsselstein Castle. The tower is believed to have been built by the Belgian architect Rombout II Keldermans. It is called the Loyer tower.
In 1558 IJsselstein Castle came into the possession of the Dutch Royal family; the Oranges. But from the 17th century on, the castle fell into disrepair. Between 1795 and 1798 the castle was used to house soldiers of the occupying French army. After that it stood empty for several years, was rented out once and sold twice. Finally, in 1888, the end came for IJsselstein Castle; it was completely torn down with exception of the remaining tower.
The tower is now a part of the city museum.