Joanna, Duchess of Brabant and the Castle of Ammersoyen

Photo by Moniek Bloks


In 1399 the Peace of Ravenstein was made, between Joanna, Duchess of Brabant and Duke William I of Guelders and Jülich and possibly, following that peace treaty there was a joyous banquet held between the two parties. Legend has it that this took place at Castle Ammersoyen, though I have been unable to find definite proof. Despite this, Castle Ammersoyen brought history to life by re-enacting this moment.

Joanna’s history is quite complicated. She was born in 1322 as the daughter of John III of Brabant and Marie d’Evreux. She had several siblings, but all three of her brothers would die young. Only she and two other sisters survived to adulthood. She was thus her father’s heiress. Her first marriage was to William IV, Count of Holland in 1334. They had a single son, William, who died young. Her husband died in 1345. She married again to Wenceslaus of Luxemburg in 1352. Her father died in 1355, but her inheritance of the duchy was contested by the husbands of her sisters. Louis II of Flanders, the husband of her sister Margaret, considered himself Duke of Brabant by right of his wife. Joanna and Wenceslaus were forced to concede and signed the Treaty of Ath. In 1356 Joanna called upon Emperor Charles IV for military aid.

As Joanna was childless, upon her death the duchy passed to Antoine, who was the second son of Margaret’s daughter, also named Margaret (Margaret III, Countess of Flanders). So where does Duke William fit in? In 1386 the owner of the castle sided with Joanna, which the Duke could not stand. He subsequently took over the castle and imprisoned the owner. As I said, the location of their banquet is not sure, but it is for certain that Joanna and William met several times.

Duke William and his wife, Katherine of Bavaria. I’m not sure who the children are supposed to be as the historical couple was childless. William did have several illegitimate children.

Joanna showed up later for the banquet but unfortunately, I have no pictures of that moment. They recreated this famous portrait.JohannavanBrabant








About Moniek Bloks 2734 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.