Dutch Pensioner Constructs Magnificent Roman-Style Castle in Back Garden

Mon May 13 2024
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BLESDIJKE, Netherlands: Meet Gerry Halman, also known as Lord Gregorious, a 76-year-old Dutchman who has devoted 34 years to constructing an awe-inspiring five-storey castle in his back garden in the village of Blesdijke, Netherlands. Named the Olt Stoutenburght Castle (“Old Naughty Citadel”), this remarkable creation reflects Halman’s passion for fantasy and history.

Inspired by various cultures including the Roman Empire, ancient Egypt, and China, Halman embarked on his ambitious project in 1990. Despite lacking architectural experience, he meticulously sourced materials from around the world, incorporating elements such as a metal chandelier from Istanbul, Jugendstil iron railings from Libya, and a wooden bar from the Orient Express dining wagon.

Halman, who previously ran a costume shop, has filled his castle with an array of characters, including knights, damsels, and mythical creatures. Atop the 26-meter-high structure coils a dragon crafted from recycled metal, symbolizing protection, alongside a cobra representing the pharaohs of Egypt.

Despite initial skepticism from local authorities, Halman secured planning permission for his castle, which he self-financed through his travels and antique market finds. Embracing Salvador Dali’s philosophy, Halman views his creation as a perpetual work-in-progress, constantly seeking to enhance its beauty.

Visitors marvel at the castle’s grandeur, with one describing it as “fantastic” and praising its intricate brickwork and imaginative design. Halman’s granddaughter, Sara van den Kamp, cherishes her unique family legacy, while tourists from far and wide are captivated by the castle’s charm.

For Halman, his castle is a testament to creativity and passion, defying convention and inspiring admiration from all who encounter it.

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