A trip to Siegen takes you to the earliest roots of the Dutch royal family. Castles and churches dating from the rule of the house of Nassau still dominate the city even today. Exhibitions in Siegen’s upper castle (Oberes Schloss) and guided tours of the old town bring the history of the nobility to life.
The upper castle, once the seat of the ruling family, now houses the Siegerlandmuseum, home to a permanent exhibition featuring portraits of members of the house of Nassau. A separate exhibition is dedicated to the former local ruler Prince Johan Maurits, army captain and governor in the service of the Netherlands. Another outstanding sight is the Rubensgalerie art gallery, featuring nine original works by the Baroque master painter. Peter Paul Rubens was born in Siegen in 1577. The story of his family is inextricably linked with the political and private life of William of Orange. The lower castle (Unteres Schloss) is just a few hundred metres away from the upper castle and is now home to the University of Siegen. After the religious wars of the 16th century, the Protestant branch of the ruling house of Nassau built a residence here. It is well worth paying a visit to the crypt, where Johan Maurits and other family members are buried. Another visible testimony to the Princes of Nassau is the golden crown on the church tower of the Nikolaikirche church, which is still a landmark of the city of Siegen even today.