Sterkenburg Castle, locally known as Kasteel Sterkenburg, lies south of the village of Driebergen, in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Sterkenburg Castle was probably built in the middle of the 13th century as a moated round tower house, with 2,5 m thick walls, by a Gijsbert van Wulven. The Van Wulven family owned several castles in the region at that time. At that time the tower was lower then it is today.
The castle remained in the hands of the Van Wulven family until 1456 when it came into the possession of a Wouter van IJzendoorn through marriage. It remained in their possession for the following hundred years. During their ownership the castle was rebuilt; a square tower was added and a curtain wall was built along the edges of the castle island creating a courtyard between the 2 towers and giving the castle a polygonal shape. Also the round tower was raised with extra floors.
In 1565 Sterkenburg Castle was owned by Reinier van Aeswijn, who was married to the last female Van IJzendoorn descendant. He allowed a garrison of State troops to be quartered at the castle to protect it and the surrounding lands from the Spanish at the beginning of the 80-Years War. His son Antonie added a gatehouse to the bailey in 1626. In 1646 he left it to his nephew. This nephew however got murdered in the castle's woods in June 1647. This murder was never solved. The following decades Sterkenburg Castle changed ownership several times due to inheritance issues after a couple of untimely deaths.
In 1725 however the castle was bought by a member of the Mamuchet family. This family didn't live in the castle and it was rented out.
In 1741 the, by then decayed, Sterkenburg Castle was obtained by a member of the Van Westrenen family. The second Van Westrenen partially rebuild the castle's south side, opening up the courtyard demolishing the square tower and replacing it with a new wing on the old foundations.
In 1829 the castle was sold at a public auction to a PA. Hinlopen and his wife. They again sold the castle in 1848 to Karel Kneppelhout. He pulled down the entire castle, with exception of the round tower, and build a new house on the foundations. The round tower was provided with large windows and in 1867 he also added a square tower to the new wing. The present form of the castle is mainly the outcome of his rebuilding.
In 1978 the castle was again sold and used for private habitation.
At present Sterkenburg Castle is used as a luxury bed-and-breakfast. A bit to pricey for me, although I would love to stay in the tower. A beautiful castle.