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History of
Ruurlo Castle

Ruurlo Castle is located in a wooded area with winding paths and idyllic towns. The castle is one of the most beautiful castles of the Achterhoek. The imposing building therefore falls under one of Dutch national monuments.

The building history of the castle goes back to the 14th century. Due to its venerable age, Ruurlo Castle is rich in stories. A lot has happened in the 700 years that Kasteel Ruurlo exists.

Kasteel Ruurlo ansichtkaart kleur
Ansichtkaart van Kasteel Ruurlo

Architectural building history

The special feature of Ruurlo Castle is that 5 centuries of architectural building history is visible and the original floor plan is almost intact. As early as the 14th century, the name appears in the archives as property of Count Reinhoud I van Gelre. The Van Roderlo family, after which the castle is probably also named, were the first inhabitants. The current appearance of the castle dates largely from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Family Van Heeckeren

Shortly after 1400, Jacob van Heeckeren became the owner of the Castle. The van Heeckeren family is one of the oldest genera in the Netherlands. And so Jacob van Heeckeren was the founder of the noble and distinguished family of Van Heeckeren. A glorious family, because for example Willem van Heeckeren van Kell (1814-1914) was Minister of Foreign Affairs and director of the King's Cabinet. Ruurlo Castle remained in the possession of this family for more than five centuries.

Coat of arms of Ruurlo

The coat of arms of the village of Ruurlo is derived from the coat of arms of the Roderlo family. This weapon also showed a leaping greyhound of saber in gold.

The Van Heeckerens, who were in possession of Ruurlo Castle for more than five centuries, carried a red cross on a yellow field. On the castle's bell tower, a shield from the early 18th century is visible with the arms of Van Heeckeren and Van Lynden with the shield of Ruurlo as its heart shield.

King of Corsica

As befits a real castle, a real king stayed in Ruurlo Castle. One of the colorful inhabitants of Kasteel Ruurlo was the German-born king of Corsica, Theodor Anton van Neuhoff (1694-1756). After failing to manage Corsica (due to lack of money and internal struggles), he was driven from his island. From the mainland he made several attempts to recapture his kingdom. On the hunt for Dutch lenders, his lodging address became Ruurlo Castle in 1736. His stay in the Achterhoek was not entirely spotless. He is said to have killed a servant in the castle.

Bell tower

The bell tower of Ruurlo Castle with the bell on the roof strikes every half hour. The clock dates from 1760 and was restored in 2001. The timepiece with dial from 1874, manufactured by the Parisian clockwork factory of Borrel, was fully restored in 1998. The dial was then equipped with a computer-controlled operation of the winding mechanism. An automatic time control from Frankfurt ensures that the clock always runs at the same time.