Kasteel Ammersoyen walk, December 24, 2018

After a dismal day of rain, and more rain, the sun came out today to surprise me with a great day for hiking.  For today's hike I decided to visit a top 10 Dutch castle, Kasteel Ammersoyen, ranked number 5 on the list.  

The drive to the start of the hike took about an hour to the center of the small village of Ammerzoden at the river Maas.  Immediately after the start, the beautiful Sint Willibrorduskerk comes into view.  Unfortunately the church was closed.  Just a few blocks further is the Ruinchurch of Ammerzoden.  This church was built in the 13th Century, but in 1672 it was "without need and willfully "destroyed by French troops under George Duras.  During the Second World War, the Choir and church Tower were destroyed.  After the War, parts of the church were restored, such that regular services are being held again.

Across from the church is Kasteel Ammersoyen. The exact date it was built is unknown, but documents from the year 1026 mention the existence of the castle.  It is one over the best preserved medieval moated castles in The Netherlands.  During the 1960's a major restoration took place, where a large number of details from the medieval times were discovered.  During the restoration of  the moat, which had been filled in by Clarian Nuns in 1893 in order to build a chapel next to the Castle, a large number of artifacts were found.  The objects of earthworks, stone, silver, bronze, and tin were all used in the Castle during medieval times, and are now on display on the upper floor of the Castle.  Unfortunately I was there too early to be able to visit the inside of the castle.  I'll have to come back with Teresa for that!

After touring the castle surroundings, I continued my walk through the village and meadows until I reached the river Maas, where I took a short "tea break"" before enjoying the last stretch along the river, back to Ammerzoden.  Total distance of the loop: 7 miles.