Bedreigde bouwvallen | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 4, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 2468-2187
  • E-ISSN: 2468-2195


Threatened ruins. Castle remains in the Dutch landscape anno 2019

In The Netherlands, around 80 castle ruins are preserved. In 1997, a book was dedicated to the castle ruin. A year later, one of the authors of this paper investigated castle remains as part of a historical geographical inventory. In 2012, the Dutch State Heritage Agency wrote a practical guide for the conservation and development of castle ruins. In this article, the authors describe the development of ruins in the past 20 years. They tried to investigate the development of the castle ruins since the late nineties and tried to categorize this. Rebuilding of the castle, partly or totally, appeared in almost 10% of all ruins. In other cases, there was attention for the touristic infrastructure around the ruin. In most cases however (68%), the ruins stayed more or less intact, with sometimes careful consolidation or restoration. Sometimes, the surroundings of the ruin changed dramatically with the development of housing, infrastructure or other forms of urbanization. In other examples, historical gardens were restored or reconstructed.

There are however several plans for the rebuilding or reconstruction of ruins. These plans often provide the new castle with functions, from wedding location to hotel or office-space. This could be a good development for castles destroyed relatively short ago, i.e. in the Second World War or in de postwar period. Many ruins are however destroyed centuries ago. Given the limited amount of ruins in The Netherlands and the sometimes centuries old development of the landscape and the ruin itself, the authors plea for more attention for the castle ruins as such.


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