Castles in Zeeland
Of the medieval castles left in Zeeland, there are three that you can visit. These include castles from the Middle Ages and their ruins, as well as the most recent Dutch castle. Wide canal-like moats, historical inner and outer courtyards and prominent towers: it’s as if you’ve gone back in time. Did you know that the most castles are in Walcheren and Zuid-Beveland? We’re happy to give you some advice about the best castles in Zeeland.
Kasteel Westhove was once a powerful stronghold. You can still witness that today. In 2022, this castle was rated amongst the top 5 in the Netherlands and came top of the list in Zeeland. The castle was mentioned in documents dating from 1277. There is not much left of the medieval castle, with its barbican, main keep, with moats, castle walls, bridges, gates and towers. But more than enough to fire the imagination! You can still see the lower parts of several towers and some parts of the castle walls. For the most part, the castle is open to the public. In the former orangery of the castle is the Terra Maris museum. Also in the gardens at Terra Maris there is a replica of an old motte and bailey. This is a great spot for the kids!
Another castle of a certain age – shall we just say around the 13th century? – is the Slot Haamstede, opposite the church in the centre of Haamstede village. The oldest part of the present remains date from then. The site, though, is older. Traces of Norman and even Roman occupants have been unearthed on the island. Since 1981, the property, and the adjoining estate of woodlands and dunes, have belonged to the Dutch society for the preservation of nature monuments, known as Natuurmonumenten. While the castle is normally closed to the public, it does open on the Open Monumentendag – dates vary per year. You can also visit the estate with a guide
In Renesse, Slot Moermond is another 13th century castle. With its broad driveway and an authentic moat, it looks remarkably like it used to in days of yore. It nestles like a peaceful giant in the Landgoed Moermond estate, a protected nature reserve. Twice destroyed in wartime, and twice rebuilt, it is a real hotchpotch of styles from various periods, which only adds to its charm. It is only available for closed functions such as parties, business meetings and weddings – it’s an official wedding venue. You can stay overnight in the Landgoed Hotel.
Castle Ter Hooge
This is a motley collection of buildings which together form the medieval Kasteel Ter Hooge in Middelburg Although the present building has stood on this site since the middle of the 18th century, the history of Ter Hooge goes back to the Middle Ages. In around 1880, the castle was completely rebuilt, with living quarters, a dining room and billiards room, with a balcony at the rear, and a veranda and a clock at the front. Nowadays, the complex has been divided up into a number of apartments with private residences. For the most part, the park is open to visitors.
The latest castle on the block is Arendsslot in ’s Heer Arendskerke. Locals call it ‘Sraskerke’. Surrounded by woods and fields and complete with a moat, stepped gardens and countless more extraordinary details. French flair and Italian elegance make the grounds a special place of interest in the Netherlands. The good news is that the castle can be visited by appointment!
Slot Baarland is located in Zuid-Beveland. This is a castle from the beginning of the 14th century which in its glory days formed part of one of the largest strongholds in Zeeland. Old prints show a large complex of buildings, complete with moats, annexes, gardens and walls. In the seventeenth century there were still a number of circular towers. The keep was demolished in the 19th century. During the last century, the coach house, annex, medieval walls and moat were all largely restored. There are a number of open days on which the castle is open to the public.