Hoensbroek Castle or Gebrook Castle is one of the largest castles in the Netherlands. It is situated in Hoensbroek, a town in the province of Limburg. This imposing watercastle is known as 'the most lordly stronghold between Rhine and Meuse'. The oldest part of the castle, notably the tall round tower, dates from around 1360, when it was built by Herman Hoen, though a predecessor to the castle had already existed in the swamp the castle was located in. This so-called motte-and-bailey dated from around 1225. In 1250 a fortified manor was built on the location of the present castle. Because of its important strategical location in the Duchy of Brabant, located along important trading routes to Maastricht, Aachen and Cologne, the castle was expanded in several phases, becoming the largest stronghold between the Meuse and the Rhine rivers. It contains at least 67 halls, rooms and living quarters.
The first lord of Hoensbroek was Sir Herman Hoen, who gave the castle its name . He was a member of the family Hoen van den / tzo Broeck, later changed to Hoen van Hoensbroek and Van Hoensbroeck. The name eventually passed to the later settlement of Hoensbroek . Sir Herman Hoen's father, Claes, died in 1371 at the Battle of Baesweiler. Because of his support in the struggle against the Duchies of Jülich and Guelders, Herman Hoen was awarded the lordship Gebrook, Gebroek, Ingenbrouck in 1388 by duchess Joanna of Brabant, the lands in question being separated from the territory of Heerlen.
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