Middachten Castle is located in the Dutch village De Steeg, in the Netherlands (municipality of Rheden) in Gelderland, near the river IJssel. The estate of Middachten surrounds it. It is a state-protected historic outdoor site with forty complex numbers. The castle was restored in 1967-1971. Middachten was included in 1991 by the Ministry of Welfare, Public Health and Culture (WVC) in the list of more than a hundred immovable monuments which need special protection in extraordinary circumstances.
Middachten was first mentioned in 1190 as quite good by Jacobus de Mithdac. At the beginning of the 14th century, Everardus van Steenre (1335-between 1392 and 1400) transferred the property (for protection) to Reinald Graaf van Gelre.\n Everardus then received it back in 1357 from the count on loan. Everardus van Middachten is the ancestor of all later gentlemen and women of Middachten; until 1625, the castle remained in this family. So the court is of medieval origin but was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt in an altered form.
The oldest buildings go back to 1354-’57, when Hendrik van Middachten had a fenced and underground square dungeon built with two angled wings on a courtyard. Further, he had a strong foreclosure built. After destruction in 1624 and 1629, restoration followed in 1643. In the year of Disaster 1672, it was largely destroyed.
The castle took its current shape after an extensive renovation and enlargement in 1694-’97 at the command of Godard van Reede-Ginkel, Count of Athlone, and his wife, Ursula Philippota van Raesfelt. According to plans by Jacob Roman – and with Steven Vennecool as an executive architect – the castle was enlarged with an extension on both sides, and the south received a narrow extension.
At the front, a new centre reality with a magnificent facade made mainly in sandstone, manufactured by Mason Jan Schrader from Gildehaus. Below the arch-shaped raised crown list is the alliance weapon of the clients. The front has sleek classic shapes and decorations in Lodewijk XIV style. The bridge flanked by ornamental vases in Lodewijk XIV style also dates from this construction phase.
It’s a square building with giants on all four sides. The vestibule and the staircase in the Lodewijk XIV style are of architectural importance. The old fireplaces, wall decorations and plaster ceilings have also been preserved in most other rooms. The surrounding estate features lanes of trees; in addition, there are some old outbuildings. One of the trees is said to be the oldest cedar in the Netherlands at the age of 150 years.
After the castle was rebuilt in 1698, the garden began. The gardens of Versailles inspired the floor plan (the walls, canals and avenues) of the garden between 1700 – 1725.\n Within this structure, a formal garden was created with shaved hedges, shaped trees and steep talus. At the end of the 18th century, the English landscape garden became fashionable, and the Middachten Garden was adapted to this fashion on a limited scale. Fences disappeared, and rolling grass fields and tree groups were created.
The influence of Eduard Petzold is found in the many rhododendron groups. Subsequently, Count and Countess Bentinck-Van Heeckeren van Wassenaer in 1900, Hugo Poortman (a student of the French horticulturist Édouard André) ordered to build of another formal garden. However, aspects of the English landscape garden had to be preserved. The park was then still found like this one.