I’m always adding more Dutch castles to my never-ending list of ones I want to visit, but I also occasionally get to tick some off the list! Most recently this past summer Dennis and I spent a lovely sunny day in Gelderland, exploring Castle Cannenburch. Situated in the town of Vaassen, Castle Cannenburch is one of the most well-preserved castles in the region and is known for its rich history and beautiful surroundings. I mostly wanted to visit because it’s not too far away from us and it has an actual moat! It also turned out to be a very charming castle and well worth the short drive.
About Castle Cannenburch
The castle dates back to the 16th century when it was built by the nobleman Marten van Rossem. The castle has undergone several renovations and additions over the centuries. It was originally constructed in a Renaissance style, but later modifications incorporated elements of Baroque architecture. The statue on a bench in front of the castle is of Maarten van Rossum and is perfect for a cheesy photo opp, complete with ducks!
Castle Cannenburch features a moat, a bridge (there was once a drawbridge but it was replaced with a stone arch bridge), and impressive towers. Its architecture reflects the transition from medieval fortifications to more decorative and comfortable living spaces. Today the castle’s interior is adorned with period furnishings, artwork, and historical artefacts, providing visitors with a glimpse into the past.
Visiting Castle Cannenburch
The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a spacious park. The parkland is ideal for leisurely walks, and we even saw quite a few people fishing in the canals throughout the park! The castle is also quite pretty from all angles, you can walk all the way around it on the outside of the moat, just keep a watch for the grumpy geese – they hiss but will get out of your way.
When you first arrive you will see two buildings on either side of the castle and a little before it. The one on the left is the visitor centre and part of the museum, while the one on the right is now a lovely restaurant. There’s also another small café and gift shop in the vaults of the castle proper.
The Castle Interior
Castle Cannenburch functions as a museum, allowing visitors to explore its various rooms and learn about the history of the castle and its former inhabitants. The museum showcases the lifestyle and traditions of the aristocracy during different periods. You can get an audio tour which will tell you about various things of interest in many rooms. I particularly enjoyed seeing the private chapel and a room filled with Delftware.
There are even some intriguing multimedia exhibits in the attic of the castle which bring the history to life as well as lots of beautiful paintings and ornate sculptures throughout the castle interior. The gift shop is in the cellar underneath the castle, which feels very atmospheric and there are windows looking out directly onto the moat from various spots, including the public toilets! Here are a few more photos of the parts I found most beautiful.
Getting to Castle Cannenburch
Castle Cannenburch is located in Vaassen, which is about an hour and fifteen-minute drive from Amsterdam. There is a free parking area nearby for visitors. You can also reach the castle by getting a train from Amsterdam to Apeldoorn, and then a bus to Vaassen, although this will take almost two hours.
The castle is open between April and October, Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 4pm, and until 5pm on holidays. Check the official website for ticket prices to explore the castle. It’s free to wander around the castle park, which is open every day from sunrise until sunset.
Have you ever visited Castle Cannenburch or another castle in Gelderland? Let me know about it in the comments or pin one of these if you’d like to go to Castle Cannenburch yourself!