Kasteel Slangenburg

This top 100 monument is beautifully situated in the woods near Doetinchem, away from the hustle and bustle. Since the fourteenth century, several lords of the Van Baer family have inhabited and rebuilt the castle. The rich seventeenth-century interior and surrounding landscape have survived time well. You will find ornate wall paneling, fireplaces and stucco ceilings. Painter Gerard Hoet created many of the allegorical and mythological wall and ceiling paintings, including a room with scenes from Virgil's Aeneas.



Year built

First havezate 1354



Building Style


Principal last major construction phase

Frederick van Baer


Top-100 Monument and wall and ceiling paintings by Gerard Hoet

Owned by Monumentenbezit

since 2016

Wheelchair accessible

No, carriage house does

Visitor information

Starting May 18, 2024, you can take guided tours of the castle. However, the carriage houses on the castle grounds are already open for catering and overnight stays.


Kasteellaan 6, 7004 JK Doetinchem

On the site of today's Slangenburg, there was probably already a manor house called Slangenburg in the 14th century. This would have been the property of Maes (Thomas) van Baer. In the late 15th or early 16th century, the manor house of Slangenburg grew into an L-shaped building with a round tower on the western corner. 

In 1585 Slangenburg was sacked by State troops, after which only a ruin remained. During the Twelve Years' Truce (1609-1621), Frederik van Baer had his ancestral house rebuilt. The south and west wings were extended. A plaque in the rear façade (then the front façade) shows the year of the reconstruction: 1612.   

After the death of Herman van Baer, son of Frederik, the castle passed to his son Frederik Johan (1645-1713). He expanded the building further. Around 1670, Frederik Johan also had an east wing added, giving the building its current U-shape. He also had the building houses built on either side of the forecourt. By doing so, he shifted the direction of the main entrance from the south to the north side. In conjunction with the modifications to the house, the surrounding estate was redesigned with ornamental gardens and avenues. Frederik Johan provided the castle with a rich interior with wall paneling, fireplaces and stucco ceilings. Many of the allegorical and mythological wall and ceiling paintings were created by the late 17th-century painter Gerard Hoet (1648-1733), including scenes from Virgil's Aeneas.


Little is known about Frederik Johan van Baer's youth. In 1665 he married Dorothea Petronella van Steenbergen tot Duijstervoorde, who died in 1666. Frederik Johan never remarried. Since Baer's family was Catholic, Frederik Johan was excluded from admission to the knighthood of the Quarter of Zutphen. Political office was also not an option. The only way to make a career was in the business of war. It was a career that was made for him. Mr. van Slangenburg was promoted at lightning speed. In 1672 he was still a major, but in 1673 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel. Two years later he was appointed colonel of a Dutch-Scottish regiment, of which he was given supreme command not much later. Not much later he was promoted to brigadier, and on 16 February 1683 he became major-general. In 1690 he attained the position of lieutenant-general of infantry. 

He reached the pinnacle of his career during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713), when he was appointed as one of the chief officers. Frederik Johan died on 15 December 1713. He had no legitimate offspring.  

After the death of Frederik Johan van Baer, Slangenburg changed hands by inheritance. After his death, the castle and the estate fell to his nephew Johan Derck from Steenbergen to Nijenbeek. When the latter died in 1727, the estate came into the possession of his sister. However, the finances were so bad that Slangenburg was mortgaged. In 1772, the owners were forced to sell the castle. It was bought by Adriaan Steengracht, who died in 1773. Adriaan Steengracht was succeeded by his brother Cornelis as lord of Slangenburg. Around 1774, Cornelis Steengracht had new tower crowns, sash windows and the sandstone entrance installed. A second plaque in the rear façade bears witness to this construction phase. 

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Johannes Stortenbeker (1821-1899) painted new murals, such as the grisailles in the entrance hall. 

The heirs of Cornelis Steengracht sold the castle at an auction in 1895 to the German timber merchant Arnold Passmann (1850-1919). Initially, Passmann was mainly interested in the wood that the estate would produce. However, he was so impressed by the castle that he decided to manage the castle himself. He had it stipulated that no individual parts of the castle could be sold. Arnold Passman traveled abroad every year to do some shopping. 

The castle was not permanently inhabited, but the Passmann family met there regularly during the fifty years that the castle was owned by the family, for family celebrations, for example. The family even had a family cemetery built on the site. 

After the Second World War, the castle was declared enemy property – because it was owned by Germans – by the Dutch Government Management Institute (NBI). After the rehabilitation of Oscar Passmann in 1950, the NBI sold Slangenburg to the State for 1 million guilders. In the meantime, the castle was rented by Benedictine monks, who had the monastery of Sint Willibrordsmunster built on land belonging to Slangenburg. From 1952 onwards, Slangenburg became the monastery's guest house. 

 Although parts of Slangenburg were modified by successive owners in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, the rich late 17th-century phase is still decisive and easily recognizable in the current house and surrounding estate. Since 2016 it has been in the hands of Monumentenbezit. We are currently working on the opening and restoration of the castle. The coach houses can already be visited as a castle café and can be booked for overnight stays or parties. 

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