Emilia of Nassau and the Castle of Wijchen

kasteel wijchen
Photo by Moniek Bloks


The first castle on this site in Wijchen was built in the 14th century. It first went through the ownership of several Lords from the region before it was bought by Emilia of Nassau in 1609 after a fight with her brother Maurice of Nassau concerning the inheritance from her father, William the Silent. Her mother was Anna of Saxony. Emilia was married to Manual de Portugal. The current appearance dates from that time. You can still find several ‘EE’ signatures around the castle.






In 1640 Philip of Nassau (a grandson of William the Silent through the male line) bought the castle after which it passed through several noble families. A fire destroyed much of the castle in 1906 but it was rebuilt based on the original plans. In the 1930’s the castle passed to the city and it has been used as a Town Hall since then.




Emilia’s marriage to Manuel was opposed by her brother because Manuel was a Catholic. Maurice could not convince her to divorce Manuel and they were banished from court for ten years. They eventually made peace.

Emilia and Manuel had ten children, but she and her husband lived separately due to financial problems. She died in Geneva at the age of 59.

About Moniek Bloks 2698 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.

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