Various Stadskasteel Oudaen uses
Throughout the past centuries as well the area surrounding Stadskasteel Oudaen as the castle itself have been subject to many alterations and renovations. Not only the façade became equipped with various window frames but also the castle interior transformed into a habitable area: the original large rooms were divided into smaller rooms and to serve a better heating process also the ceilings were lowered. Although periods of prosperity and decline take turns, Oudaen preserved its prestige. In 1712 the castle served as temporary accommodation for the French envoy De Polignac, one of the negotiators who played a vital role during the Peace of Utrecht.
Halfway the 18th Century the premise is once again modernised to be finally sold to the Hervormde Gemeente (Reformed Local District) in 1758, for an amount of 16000 Florentines. At this point in history Oudaen has a remarkable change of use: 2 centuries long the castle serves as a place for elderly and poor people. To serve this purpose Oudaen was again renovated: the large ground floor rooms, the current Room of taste, are made into separated dining rooms for men and women. The rooms on the first floor, today the Oudaen Restaurant, are made into dormitories. After the renovations the new home could accommodate 160 inhabitants
The improving hygiene and sanitation not only increased the quality of life but also the overall population figure and the age people reached, moreover encouraged by a decreasing infant mortality. While in 1870 only one out of five children reached the age of 1 year, this is increased to one out of 14 in 1920 and even one out of hundred nowadays. To meet the needs of its population Oudaen expanded to the terrains at the back, a ward is built and some houses for couples spring up out of the ashes of old Vredenborch.
During World War II the necessary maintenance of the building lacks financial means. Oudaen got neglected and completely outdated. Nevertheless the Citycastle will still serve as home for elderly people until 1965.
Although building and demolishing were normal practices in the construction world in the 60’s of last century, Oudaen gets off scot-free. But what should be done with this medieval building remains the open question. In 1967 the premise is sold to the Catholic student’s union Veritas for a sum of 1.500.000 Gulden (750.000 Euro/678.600 Pounds). Restoration costs of the building though are underestimated by the union and soon the monument foundation Het Utrechts Monumentenfonds takes care of the Stadskasteel Oudaen. It seemed the building had suffered more damage during a 5-year period than during the seven previous centuries!