Monday, 17 August 2009

that's My World Gorinchem, Castle Loevestein





Click on slide for more details.

On Sunday the 7th June, 2009, we wanted to show our relatives from South Africa the city of Gorinchem and Loevestein Castle.

Wikipedia says: "It is assumed that Gorinchem was founded circa the year 1000 by fishermen and farmers on the raised land near the mouth of the river Linge at the Merwede. "Goriks Heem" is first mentioned in a document from 1224.

Somewhere between 1247 and 1267, Gorinchem became property of the Lords of Arkel. At the end of the 13th century earthen mounts reinforced with palisades were built around the settlement to protect it from domination by the neighboring counties of Holland and Gelre. Half a century later real city walls were built complete with 7 gates and 23 watchtowers. Otto van Arkel granted it city rights on November 11, 1322"

Slot Loevestein (1621)

Castle Loevestein is a medieval castle built by the knight Dirc Loef van Horne (hence "Loef's stein" ((stone)) house) in 1368. It was built in a strategic location in the middle of the Netherlands, where the Maas and Waal rivers come together (just west of current day villages Poederoijen and Brakel, in the municipality of Zaltbommel, in Gelderland). At first it was a simple square brick building, used to charge toll from trading vessels using the rivers. In the 16th century it was expanded to a larger fortress surrounded by earthen fortifications, two moats, an arsenal, and housing for a commander and soldiers. It changed hands twice between the Northern Dutch and the Spanish, the warring parties of the day. The castle soon became a prison for political prisoners. One famous inmate was the eminent lawyer, poet and politician Hugo de Groot (Hugo Grotius) often presented as the "father of modern international law", who was serving a life sentence since 1619, due to a conflict with the Prince of Orange. In 1621 Hugo de Groot managed to pull off a daring escape in a book chest. He subsequently became the Swedish Embassador to France for 10 years.


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29 comments:

SandyCarlson said...

I enjoyed the slide show and history. I so enjoy your posts.

Denise said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. So very interesting and the castle is beautiful. Thanks also for commenting on my 'uh-oh' post. All appears to be well and I have had no more problems.

Lorac said...

The history just boggles me! That is one of the most amazing things for me when I visit. My country is still pretty young. When we see something 1oo years to 150 years we think that is so old! LOL! Thank you for the tour. I really enjoyed it.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Wil...life ALWAYS seems so slow and relaxed in your posts that I ALWAYS feel so peaceful and calm after a visit here! xoxo :)

The Weaver of Grass said...

The Netherlands obviously has along and very interesting history reader wil. Loved hearing about the castle.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I guess you're taking me along afterall. :-) Thanks for the tour. It was lovely.

Rajesh said...

Amazing history of wonderful castle. The architecture is beautiful.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Wil: That is certainly a very special place.

ewok1993 said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Thanks and see you next week.

gleaner said...

I enjoyed the pictures with the accompanying history. Always fascinating to read.

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Wil,

As always, your interesting posts, filled with history and beautiful buildings, is a pleasure to read. The city of Gorinchem and Lowenstein Castle are beautiful. I marvel at the age and history you present us with.

Happy Tuesday!

Huggies,

Renie

PS. I looked up the ISBN number of the book with my latest story. Chicken Soup for the Soul, Tough Times, Tough People, ISBN 978-1-935096-35-1

Thank you for asking about it.

Vicki Lane said...

Another lovely tour -- many thanks, Reader Wil!

Irene Toh said...

Hi Wil, Thank you for sharing your picturesque tour. Have a lovely week.

Snap said...

This was great! Loved the slide show and I thought I was right there with you. Commentary was great,too. Thanks!

Patty said...

Hope you have the start of a lovely week.

Lantaw said...

thats a great piece of history. thanks for sharing the photos

Vagabonde said...

This is a very interesting entry. My question is though if Hugo de Groot did not get along with the Prince of Orange, how did he get to be ambassador to France, which must have been a nice assignment I would think after being in a prison? So was he given the post, or after fleeing to France amongst books did he get the post as an honor somehow?

Indrani said...

You have such captivating shots in the slide show and the write up gave an interesting peep in to the history. Great post.

Ebie said...

I have enjoyed the scenic tour with you and your relatives. Thanks for sharing its history.

Anya said...

Prachtige slide show altijd perfect verzorgd hihihi....
Leuk om te zien,
hele leuke my world post :))))

Arija said...

Another of your interesting castles. I am glad you had visitors so we too got to see it.

Wolynski said...

Holland is such a pretty, fairy tale place, at least in your photos. I do enjoy your slideshows.

Greyscale Territory said...

Adored the slide show! Watched it a few times! And incredible history of this place!

Elisabeth's bright side said...

A great story, interesting and very good pictures illustrating the story.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I wonder what life was really like in the castles? I mean there were to newspapers, radio or television for distraction and there wasn't many real friends and neighbors. There might be a Jester and a wife or two but not much else to pass the time of day. Or is there another side to this story? LOL

Friko said...

Hi Reader Wil,
I've just come over to you from Vagabonde and saw your comment. I like your blog very much and will certainly be back to read more. I have one Dutch ancestor; my family lived on the Dutch/German border.

Jack and Joann said...

Visiting a castle for the first time is like opening a book for the first time. Exciting.

Jenn Jilks said...

Great shots. Well done.

Babli said...

Thanks a lot for your lovely comment.Good to hear that you daughter is staying in Cooktown.So you must have visited Australia several times.
Amazing photos of the wonderful castle.I got good information because of your excellent post.