Kasteeltoren IJsselstein

This 16th-century tower is the remnant of the once glorious castle that stood in IJsselstein. The castle was demolished in 1888. It consisted of several buildings, towers and walls with a moat. Its foundations are still in the ground. The castle tower is still of important historical value to IJsselstein, as this is where the foundation for the present city lies. It is now part of Museum IJsselstein.



Year built

Around 1530

Building Style



Floris van Egmond

Special feature

Masonry spiral staircase with Gothic cross vaulting

Owned by Monumentenbezit

since 2016

Wheelchair accessible


Visitor information

See what part of the castle once looked like, such as the tower room, sekreet (toilet) and prison through Museum IJsselstein. Check the website for current opening hours.

Visiting address:

Kronenburgplantsoen 9, 3401 BM IJsselstein

In the 13th century, the castle of the same name arose in the current center of IJsselstein. The castle forms the origin of the present city of IJsselstein. It even owes the name of the town to the castle; Stein aan den IJssel.

In the early 14th century, Gijsbrecht van IJsselstein (ca. 1260-1342/1343) received permission from the bishop to establish a parish church in IJsselstein. The church and castle attracted craftsmen, so IJsselstein grew into a (fortified) city.

The walls of this medieval building have withstood several sieges, such as the siege by the Dutch in 1297. For many IJsselsteiners, the story of the heroic Bertha van Heukelom (?-1322), wife of Gijsbrecht van IJsselstein, still captures the imagination. After her husband was captured, Bertha managed to hold out against the Dutch for a year. In the end she had to give in, but in 1308 the couple got their possessions back.

Besides the van Amstel family, other famous Dutch families such as the Borssele and Orange-Nassau families occupied the castle. Because Anna van Egmond (1533-1558), whose family had owned the castle since the 14th century, married William of Orange (1535-1584) in 1551, the castle came into the possession of the house of Orange-Nassau.

The castle has undergone numerous changes over time. During sieges, the building was partially destroyed several times. But where in the 15th century the castle was still rebuilt, in the 18th century decay set in. The castle tower was then used as a prison.

The last occupant of the castle, Louisa Strick van Linschoten, died in 1886 at the age of 84. Louisa feared for the fate of her castle. In fact, there was no interest in either inhabiting or buying the centuries-old structure among her relatives, the Oranges or even the Empire. A year after her death, the castle was sold for demolition.

A flood of commotion followed. For example, many newspapers wrote that the demolition of the castle was an act of "wandalism," referring to the demolition frenzy of the 19th century. The famous architect Pierre Cuypers also interfered with the issue. He wrote a letter to the then board of the Royal Archaeological Society (K.O.G.) requesting prompt action against the demolition of the castle. Unfortunately, to no avail. In 1888, the structure was still demolished. Only this particular tower, the so-called Loyer Tower, was saved from destruction.


Around 1530, the Loyer Tower was commissioned by Floris van Egmond, the grandfather of Anna van Egmond. This stair tower has a special appearance thanks to the use of horizontal decorations in the facade, called speklagen. Inside the tower, the brick spiral staircase is characterized by staggered Gothic cross vaults.

As architects of the Loyer Tower, both the Flemish Anthonis I Keldermans and his son Rombout II and the Italian Alexander Pasqualini are mentioned. A plausible connection to the Keldermans family lies in the fact that Rombout II was more often involved by Van Egmond in his (re)construction plans. Furthermore, the tower is almost identical to the stair tower of the Markiezenhof in Bergen op Zoom, which was built in 1495 under the supervision of his father Anthonis I. On the other hand, Floris van Egmond employed Alexander Pasqualini in 1531, after the death of Rombout II. Pasqualini also built the church tower of St. Nicholas Church in IJsselstein. In short: both master builders may have been the architect.

Some modifications were made to the tower over the centuries. In 1769, for example, the existing prison cell on the upper floor was replaced for three wooden cells. And after World War II, the tower was restored and furnished as an antiquities room. Through Museum IJsselstein, you can see the inside of the tower. Since 2016, the tower has been owned by Monumentenbezit. In 2022, we performed restoration work on the roof and masonry.

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