Claes Jacobsz. van der Heck: View on the abbey and castle of Egmond (1635)


( Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

A painting by the Dutch artist Claes Jacobsz. van der Heck (1575/81 – 1652). On the left is the Saint Adalbert's Abbey (Saint Adalbert of Egmond was a Anglo-Saxon missionary and was one of Saint Willibrord's companions in preaching the gospel in the Netherlands), the oldest abbey in Holland. The abbey and the Benedictine monastery was founded in A.D. 920-925 by count Dirk I of Holland and many counts of Holland were buried here. On the right is the Egmond castle, also known as the 'Op den Hoef castle', named after the town of Egmond op den Hoef. This castle was build in the 11th century by the Lords of Egmond who used it as their residence. Both the abbey and the castle were destroyed in 1573 by the Dutch rebels at the start of the Dutch war of independence (1568-1648). The reason for the destruction was that the Dutch rebels were afraid the Spanish army could use both buildings as a stronghold. The abbey was 
re-founded in 1935. This painting does not offer a historical view of both buildings as it was made in 1635, 62 62 years after the destruction. The painting was very populair and van der Heck made many copies of the individual buildings

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