Nijmegen – Valkhof
M20
Nijmegen
1130

Nijmegen – Valkhof

Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof

From a historical point of view, the Valkhof is probably the most interesting spot in the Netherlands. Almost the entire history of Western Europe can be sensed from this strategic hill, looming high over the river Waal.

Caesar’s residence
The Romans built a settlement here and stayed for 400 years. Charlemagne built a palace here. Vikings spent the winter months here and set the stronghold on fire. Numerous emperors of the Holy Roman Empire resided here. Some of them got married at the Valkhof others were born or breathed their last here.

Barbarossa
In 1155, Emperor Frederik I (Barbarossa) completed the fortress with its huge main towers, or donjons. The Valkhof owes its name to the falcons, which were kept in the forecourt of the castle. Barbarossa was one of the first in Europe to take a keen interest in falconry, which became the exclusive pastime of the nobility.

Gelre
A hundred years later, the Valkhof came into the possession of the counts and dukes of Gelre. They extended the fortress complex into the castle that is now familiar from a multitude of paintings and prints. All the landscape painters of the 17th century were drawn to this un-Dutch image of a city on the river with an imposing castle on the hill. But the glory days of the Valkhof were by then long gone.

Feudal symbol
For over six centuries, the giant towers of the Valkhof dominated the cityscape. Together with the Stevens tower on the other side of the city, it formed the landmark for everyone approaching Nijmegen until 1795. New ideas issuing from the French Revolution found their way to the Netherlands. The Valkhof stronghold was seen as a symbol of old-fashioned medieval feudalism, and was demolished.

Park
Two remnants of the castle were spared the wrecking ball: the St. Nicholas chapel and the Barbarossa ruin. By way of compensation, a park was laid out in the Romantic style. Even today you can sit under the trees, lost in admiration of the outstretched view and musing on bygone times – reflecting nostalgically on the Valkhof fortress, the biggest and oldest castle that has ever stood in the Netherlands.

Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof
Nijmegen – Valkhof

Nijmegen Valkhof

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