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Dutch pensioner builds five-storey castle in his back garden : Pictured

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Published Time: 13.05.2024 - 16:40:25 Modified Time: 13.05.2024 - 16:40:25

With no building experience ‘Lord Gregorious’ single-handedly creates ‘Old Naughty Citadel’ after 34 years of painstaking construction AFP/Nick Gammon A 76-year-old Dutchman has single-handedly built a five-storey castle in his back garden, complete with knights, damsels, and a shimmering dragon fashioned from recycled metal

With no building experience ‘Lord Gregorious’ single-handedly creates ‘Old Naughty Citadel’ after 34 years of painstaking construction

: AFP/Nick Gammon

A 76-year-old Dutchman has single-handedly built a five-storey castle in his back garden, complete with knights, damsels, and a shimmering dragon fashioned from recycled metal.

The towers of the Olt Stoutenburght Castle (“Old Naughty Citadel”) rise unexpectedly from the flat fields around the tiny village of Blesdijke in the northern Dutch countryside.

Gerry Halman, who also goes by the name Lord Gregorious, has spent 34 years on his labour of love, painstakingly sourcing materials from dozens of countries, drawing inspiration from China, the Roman Empire, and ancient Egypt.

“One morning in 1990, I said to my wife, ‘I’m ready. I have a complete picture. I know what the building looks like, from the bottom to the flag’,” the mustachioed Mr Halman told AFP, resplendent in a jaunty fur hat.

Since then, constructing and furnishing the castle has been his “passion”, travelling all over the world to source materials that do justice to his vision.

: AFP/Nick Gammon

‘I am a fan of the fantasy world, not the real world’

For 35 years, Halman ran a costume shop in nearby Zwolle and has populated his castle with a cast of characters including knights in shining armour, damsels in distress, and a statue of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

What drives someone with no architectural or building experience to start such a project?

“What drives people to cycle for three weeks through France or go to the gym?” a good-natured Halman replied, describing the urge to create the castle as an “obligation”.

: AFP/Nick Gammon

: AFP/Nick Gammon

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