The Netherlands / Fortification

Huys Heyen Castle




Huys Heyen, strategically located on the river Meuse, dates back to the beginning of the 16th century. The castle almost fell victim to acts of war between September 1944 and February 1945. The ruin was rebuilt after the war. That was accomplished by the Rotterdam sculptor Peter Roovers. He used bricks from Blijenbeek Castle in Afferden, which was also shot down but could not be restored, for its restoration. The restoration was completed in November 1949.

The strategic location of Heyen Castle was evident once again at the end of the war when British bombers heavily damaged the historic building in the autumn of 1944. German units had entrenched themselves there and would not be driven away. The front was close by for months, but no fierce fighting took place.

The violence of war broke out again with great intensity in February 1945. Units of the Scottish 51st Gordon Highland and 52nd Lowland Divisions opened fire on the castle. The historic structure had to endure many hundreds of shells before the defenders left. Only the four walls of the main building were left standing. The roof was completely gone. Parts of the north and south gates and the farmhouse were completely destroyed. To make matters worse, the Scots looted what was left. At that time, the ruin seemed lost forever.

Hoofdstraat 42, 6598 AE Heijen