Netherland Silver Ducat 2021-2. Westhove Castle. Proof

Netherland Silver Ducat 2021-2. Westhove Castle. Proof

Westhove Castle, situated in Oostkapelle, has a turbulent history of many owners and renovations. It is not known exactly when the castle was built, but this must have been sometime before 1300. Around that time the castle was part of the abbey in Middelburg. The abbey was enormously powerful at that time and the castle was a means to maintain that power. Medieval castles were, after all, intended as defensible homes. In the fifteenth century, it was no longer necessary for the castles to be used and the castle was used by the abbots as a summer residence.
In 1559 Middelburg became an episcopal city and thus the bishop owned Westhove. During the Siege of Middelburg in 1572, the castle was occupied by the “Watergeuzen” (Calvinist Dutch noblemen who opposed Spanish rule during the Eighty Years’ War), led by Groningen nobleman Bartholt Entens van Mentheda. He set the castle on fire, destroying much of the original structure. Hereafter, the castle has been in the hands of many private individuals who each left their mark on the castle. Gardens were planted and the castle was expanded with many outbuildings, including an orangery. From 1899 the building was used as a convalescent home for children. Today, the castle and its coach houses function as a youth hostel. The Terra Maris Museum has been housed in the orangery since 2004.

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