Middachten Castle or Kasteel Middachten in Dutch, is a significant and beautiful manor house, located on the Middachten estate, De Steeg, Netherlands. The building we see today dates from 1698. Since 2004 the castle has been a rijksmonument which is a register of Dutch sites of interest. Middachten Castle is part of the Top 100 Dutch heritage sites, and it’s easy to see why.
There are, surprisingly, around 700 castles and country estates around the Netherlands, ranging from historical fortifications to stately homes. It’s true that not many people would expect the Netherlands to have these, unlike Germany or even France. Many of these buildings are open to the public as museums or hotels and restaurants. Lots have remarkable gardens that have evolved over centuries and are perfect for visiting in the spring and summer.
Surrounded by Water
Strikin surrounded by water surrounded by waterg Middachten Castle is strategically located in the Veluwezoom, on the bend of the river IJssel. Middachten was originally a fortified home, surrounded by water. This red brick building is still fringed by water. The regal house was first mentioned in 1190 as being the property of Jacobus de Mithdac. During the Middle Ages it was heavily fortified with thick walls.
At the beginning of the 14th century, Everardus van Middachten transferred his estate to Count Reinoud I of Gelre, in order to have the Count’s protection. In exchange, Everardus was offered the estate on loan if he would provide the Count with military and financial support.
In 1673 Stadtholder William III conquered the city of Bonn, and the retreating French troops destroyed the castle. Godard van Reede had the castle rebuilt, with a design based on the Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn. The celebrated garden was designed in the style of the grounds of Versailles. In the 18th century the less formal British-style gardens became fashionable, and the gardens were again remodelled.
It has been a family home, so the interior of the castle reflects changing tastes through the ages, although the present Duke lives in one of the buildings near the entrance gates. One can actually get married in the grand hall with its sweeping carved wooden staircase and its noteworthy ornate dome – the pictures would be wonderful, I am sure!
Middachten has never been sold, and has been passed down through the male or female lines, and thus has remained in the hands of the same family for all these centuries. The castle still has many of the original decorations, including a large collection of mostly family portraits and plenty of furniture, some of which dates back to the 17th century. The rooms are surprisingly small, giving this stately home quite a cosy and human ambiance.
An insight into another age
Many visitors will be particularly interested in the lower floor housing the kitchen. There are dressers displaying sets of porcelain and china from Europe and England. There are plates for grand banquets as well as dishes for use in the nursery; and there is also the laundry where livery uniforms are still stored. One will have an insight into another age and a different way of life.
Visitors will be charmed by both the castle and its gardens. Plant lovers will be taking note of shrubs in well-stocked beds and marvel at manicured lawns. Much of the work is undertaken by enthusiastic volunteers and they evidently know what they are doing. One could pass many hours relaxing in the grounds and enjoying the house with its wealth of history.
The gardens are open from 15th May up to and including 30th September 2019.
Sunday to Friday: 10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Every Sunday in July and August, from 1.30 p.m.
In addition, guided tours of the gardens can be arranged by appointment for a minimum of 15 people.
Castle tours: every Sunday in July and August at 1.30 and 3.00 p.m.
In addition, guided tours of the castle can be arranged by appointment for a minimum of 20 people.
There are sometimes also guided tours of the castle on other special occasions.
Landgoed Middachten 3
6994 JC De Steeg
Tel: 00 31 (0)26 495 2186
For travel with DFDS:
Travel with car:
Prices for travel with DFDS from Dover to Calais are from £49 each way, or from Dover to Dunkirk are from £45 each way, for a car with a maximum of nine people.
Prices for travel with a motorhome and up to nine people on DFDS’ Dover to France service start from £57 each way. For customers travelling with a car and caravan, prices start from £80 each way.
All ships in the modern fleet feature a premium lounge, which can be booked for an additional £12 per person each way. The lounge provides a quiet space with free newspapers, fresh fruit, pastries and petits-fours, soft drinks and a glass of Prosecco upon arrival.
Prices vary in line with demand and are subject to change.
Crossings on the Dover-Calais route take 90 minutes each way and Dover-Dunkirk sailings are two hours. Customers are advised to check in at least 45 minutes before their scheduled sailing time, or 60 minutes prior during busy periods.