Doorwerth village between national park Veluwe en the river nederrijn.
The region of Doorwerth was founded around 1260, when the first parts of the current castle Doorwerth were built. Although the area had already been sparsely populated since the age of hunters & gatherers, as can be seen by the burial mounds located in the area. The current Doorwerth is a village consisting of around 7000 inhabitants, living in either the large apartment complexes, low rise terraced house clusters or normal terraced housing.
The name ‘Doorwerth’ stems from the name of a man named Berend van Dorenweerd who built the very first structure where the castle now stands tall, but was later given the English pronunciation by the English lord at the time, Bentinck.
A Mountain among Flatlands
Doorwerth is located on the remnants of the last ice age: small hills created by the evermoving glaciers of a long gone past, also known as moraines. These moraines make the region stand out from the rest of the incredibly flat Netherlands. This, combined with the greenery stemming from the national park makes this region an exceptional part of the Netherlands.
Non dutch scenery
Village on the southend of national park the Veluwe. The existence of Doorwerth is characterised by the Castle. This castle was first build on a island in the river to lift toll. The ideal environment for people who love nature. The hills and woods are made to be discovered with a nice walk or bike ride. This combination of hills, woods, and rivers has given it the reputation to be “none dutch” scenery. The first to say so was Baron van Brakell who owned the castle and paved the Italian road. This road is worth walking. It leads from the castle to Wolfhezen station a few kilometers away.
The past centuries the village and neighboring village Oosterbeek have been a favorite destination for the rich class from the big cities in the west of the Netherlands. Some of the richest even build there estate or house here. The estates of Dune, Westerbouwing, Bato’s Wijk and Hartenstein are still witness of this period. Their goal was the beautiful views and peace these places offer.
In the 14th until the 18th century the “Heerlijckheid Doorwerth” had its own justicial rights. In the 18th century under French authority, it is merged with the villages Renkum and Oosterbeek. In 1815 the “Heerlijkckheid” got its autonomy back under the authority of the united kingdom of the Netherlands as a municipality. This was again merged in 1923 with Renkum and Oosterbeek.
Doorwerth and its surroundings offer a great place to engulf oneself in nature’s beauty, the blooming plains to the North and the vibrant forests all around provide the region with a perfect place to take walks of any distance. Once a year, in September, the region hosts the Airborne walking tour as a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the failed operation Market Garden. Monuments serving as a memory to this event are dotted all around the region and are a sight to see. Other more notable walking routes include, but are not limited to: the Hevearoute, the Westerbouwingroute and the Nature’s trail High & Low.
Doornweerd place of water and woods
The name of the place should tell its story. Doorn should mean water and woods, and “weerd” place.
The stuwwal, other name for the hills of Doorwerth and surrounding villages have been created in the iceage. The ice pushed the sand and dirt into hills, the melting then created the valleys and streams.
Doorwerth, Dorenwert or Dorenwaard?
During the first centuries, many spellings have been attributed to Doorwerth. Doorenwert, Doirenwerdt, Doerenwerde en Dorenwaard.
In 1817 it had to be named under the authority of the united kingdom of the Netherlands. Because the English owner, Bentinck, of that time it got an English spelling.
Castle Doorwerth had humble beginnings, starting off as a wooden structure that was soon destroyed in a siege. From here the Castle was rebuilt in stone to be far grander than it had ever been, starting off with a 10×15 meter tower, currently part of the East Wing. The last expansion of the castle was performed in 1560, consisting of the southwestern tower, which was destroyed and then later rebuilt in the modern renovation. The modern castle facilitates a restaurant, museum and a hotel.
The Westerbouwing estate
The Westerbouwing is an estate looking over the Nederrijn and the lands beyond the river, consisting of a sizable portion of the forest and having featured a pavilion since 1887. The Pavillion currently houses a restaurant with a beautiful terrace, along with an additional area allowing one to host events such as weddings. Additionally, two large streaks of grass cross behind the pavilion, making it a great location for a picnic.
The Duno estate
The Duno estate was, for a long time, an estate owned and lived in by the rich citizens of the Netherlands. Having been built in 1794 under orders of the director of Heerlickheijd Doorwerth at the time, the estate housed many people, including soldiers, until its destruction by German artillery in retaliation to Operation Market Garden.
All that remains in present time is a layout of the base floor of the house, serving as a popular lookout and tourist attraction for tourists and people out on a stroll alike. Once a year, in September, the estate serves as a memory as thousands of participants of the yearly Airborne walking tour flow through.
Read more about the Castle
Later, new residents built a wooden tower on an island on the Lower Rhine. Thanks to the strategic location, toll could be collected.
In writings mentioned from 1260 when it was besieged and burnt down by the Lord of Vianen.
Hereafter, the castle was rebuilt in stone by Hendric van Doorweerd as a residential tower measuring 10 by 15 meters with a surrounding canal. This tower us now the current east wing. Over the years this tower has been further expanded by the different owners.
During the war 1944, the castle was largely destroyed. There was a large-scale renovation that lasted 37 years.
The castle is today the attraction of the area. It is not surprising because it stands proudly along the roads that have been built in the course of time to reach the castle. Now, these roads are used by hikers, cyclists, and day-trippers to admire the spectacle of the Lower Rhine, the moraine, and the floodplains.
read more about the history of the castle
The oldest Robinia (Acacia) of the Netherlands
Striking in the courtyard of Castle Doorwerth is the oldest Robinia of the Netherlands, presumably in 1579 planted on the occasion of the establishment of the Union of Utrecht. Another variant of the origin tells us that this was planted in honor of the peace of Nijmegen in 1678. The tree was probably one of three when it was planted, only this one survived.
Nowadays, the castle hosts a restaurant, museums and regularly there are special events on the premises such as the Harvest Festival in September. Special is that you can also spend the night in the gatehouse.
The largest part of the current Castle is hired by museums.
Museum de Veluwezoom offers exhibition space to various art movements that have captured the surroundings of the Castle.
read more about Museum Veluwezoom
In addition, there is a permanent collection that gives an impression of life in the Castle and its surroundings through the ages.
read more about the Jacht Museum
Castle Cafe de Zalmen
Cafe de Zalmen is located in the fore castle. Here you can enjoy the lunch that is prepared with products from the vegetable garden of the castle. read more about restaurant de Zalmen
For centuries, a hamlet of a few houses stood on the Fountainallee. Most homes are destroyed during the war. After the war the village is rebuilt, now on the moraine instead of at the foot. Most of the neighborhoods gives the feeling of living in the forest. Read more about the current village
History of the village
At the end of the 19th century, many roman bronze objects were found in the Lower Rhine. The objects dated from the first century AD show that this location was already inhabited.
Next to the habitation of the Castle, the hamlet is mentioned in writings in 1817. This would not be on the current location of the village but on the Fonteinallee. History of the village
The village centre
Around the van der Molenallee and the Mozartlaan the current small center is located.
With two supermarkets, several restaurants, a gas station and a pharmacy, it has the basics. For the extended wishes, the city center of Arnhem offers everything that is needed. In 25 minutes biking or 15 minutes by car, everything that the heart can desire is affordable.
From the 19th century the village and surrounding nature is a tourist attraction, despite being a small village, it offers a good welcome.
The Fletcher Hotel-Restaurant in Kievitsdel offers hotel services.
Castle Doorwerth offers the exclusive option to stay overnight
in the gate residence .
Restaurants in Doorwerth
Multiple restaurants offer their services in Doorwerth.
The village is easily accessable by car of public transport.
By the highway A50 exit “Oosterbeek”.
Traveling by public transport via Wolfheze or Oosterbeek
By train from Utrecht and Arnhem it is possible to travel by bus from the stations Wolfheze or Oosterbeek. Busses 589 or 590 will bring you to Doorwerth.
From station Arnhem
Take bus 51 or 352, they depart every 15 to 30 minutes.
Facts and figures
Inhabitance: c.a. 7000