For this week’s ride I stayed close to home but we went back in time for a couple of centuries at Ammersoyen castle in the present day town of Ammerzoden in the province of Gelderland. This archetypical medieval castle was built in the 1300s. Even though in a different province, it is only a leisurely 11 kilometres back to the centre of ʼs-Hertogenbosch from this lovely castle. During the ride the cycling infrastructure varies but is always easy and convenient. It’s fast too. Thanks to only a few short stops the 11km long ride took just a little over half an hour.
Ammersoyen Castle was built around the years 1300 to 1325 on the banks of a former meander of the river Maas (Meuse). It was immediately built in the shape it has today; square with four corner towers. That is unusual, most castles start off smaller and are expanded over time. The castle is an exceptionally well preserved example of a medieval moated castle. In 1590, during the Eighty Years’ War a.k.a. the Dutch War of Independence (from Spain, from 1568 to 1648) the strategically located castle was destroyed and it was only rebuilt half a century later, after the Dutch gained independence. Two gable stones in the façade dated 1648 and 1667 commemorate the reconstruction. While the exterior kept its medieval appearance, the interior was rebuilt in then contemporary 17th century style. In 1873, the catholic church bought the castle and turned it into a convent. The sisters left the castle after it was heavily damaged in World War II. Reconstruction only started in 1959 and after 16 years the fully restored castle could be opened to the public for the first time in its history in 1975. The castle is still open to visits and you can have a drink or a coffee in one of the outbuildings. After a Saturday afternoon visit we cycled back to ʼs-Hertogenbosch and I filmed the ride home. More information about that ride in the captions of the pictures in this post.