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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