Kasteel Rechteren, February 26, 2019.

I decided to get one more hike in before the move into our new apartment and trip to LA.  An extra incentive was the spectacular weather we are having here at the moment.  This hike took me to the Province of Overijsel, for a 12 mile walk around the Vecht river.  Right outside the railway station is a "floating "rock, built in 2000, and weighing about 30 tons!

The route took me through the small town of Dalfsen, after which it meandered through empty meadow after empty meadow,.  (Where are the cows on this beautiful day?).  At one point, I ran into a lookout tower, from which you get a wonderful view of the area and the Vecht river.  Onwards I went to the point where I had to cross the river Vecht, where the water was being controlled by locks.  I took a short lunch break here, while watching an egret fishing for its lunch.

After the break, I crossed two more locks, and walked along many more farms.  If you like the quiet, this is the area for you.  The only sounds you here are from birds.  No cars, motors, or other annoying sounds we are constantly subjected to in our daily lives were present here.

A highlight of this walk was a visit to Kasteel Rechteren (#8 on the top 10 list of Dutch Castles). It is the only castle that still stands in Overijssel that was built during the middle ages. Located on an island on the river Vecht, Rechteren Castle is picturesque and even includes an arch bridge that allows visitors to enter the castle. Standing in the hamlet of Judges, this 14th century castle is still occupied by the Van Heeckerens family which has been in possession of the castle since the 1300s.

Rechteren Castle History The original creation of the castle in the 14th century is given credit to the Counts of Bentheim. In 1315, the castle would have been owned by Herman van Voorst until it eventually ended up with its current descendants from owners the Van Heeckerens. Many prominent figures would go on to occupy the castle throughout the ages including: Adolf Henry of Judges Jacob Henry Adolph Reinhard Zegar Count Rechteren Limpurg

Throughout the century, the castle has undergone numerous renovations and has been rebuilt due to siege. With 40 rooms and halls throughout the castle, renovations were commonplace. In fact, Prince Maurits dismantled much of the castle in 1591 so that the Spaniards would not be able to use it as a strategic advantage during their invasion. The outer walls of the castle were demolished as well as the canal. In the 18th century, the castle’s entrance would be changed with two additional wings being added. During this time, renovations occurred that changed the castle into a neo-Gothic style.

This renovation would not last long as in 1953, the neo-Gothic style was completely changed back to remove all signs that a neo-Gothic style ever existed. Little is known about the interior of the castle as it has been privately owned for its duration. Sparse photographs of the inside have been shown that dictate marvelous paintings of the family as well as their coat of arms. The only original piece of the castle that completely remains from the 13th century is the 30 meter high tower. Other regions have been rebuilt throughout the centuries and date to the 17th century onward. The castle is currently occupied and privately owned. While some pictures have been released to the public that hint at what the inside may look like, the castle has never been open for tours. 

The road leading to the castle has a gate that was open, and even though there was a large sign showing that walkers and bikers are not allowed on the road, I decided to ignore it and get closer to take some pictures.  Right after my first few shots, a car drove up with a nice lady in it, who told me that I was not allowed on the property, asking: did I not see the sign?  I told her that I had walked almost 10 miles to see the castle and would like to take a few more quick pictures.  The lady told me OK, and she would wait at the gate for me.  A few minutes later I was back at the front gate, and thanked her for allowing me on the property.

Just outside the estate I found a nice bench, where I took a short break before hitting the last few miles along more farms back to the railway station in Dalfsen.  On my way into the center of Dalfsen this morning, I had noticed a windmill, so I decided to drive back into town to take a few snapshots of it, before heading home.

Even though this hike takes you along a lot of uninspiring farmland, I still enjoyed the peacefulness and pretty scenery, especially with the incredible weather!