This is the third installment in my ‘Day Trips from Amsterdam series. Check back every Thursday for a new Dutch destination.

 

(c) Can Stock Photo

 

Today we head to Muiden, a small town near Amsterdam that can be easily reached by public transportation from the city. There you will find Muiderslot Castle, a towering medieval fortress surrounded by an ancient moat.  Castles probably don’t come to mind to most people when thinking about The Netherlands, but there are surprisingly many dotting the Dutch landscape.

 

muiderslot castle

The History of Muiderslot Castle

Muiderslot was built somewhere around 1285, by a gentleman by the name of Count Floris V. The castle was built on the mouth of the River Vecht (a great place  for walks and bike rides) and used as a toll place for traders making the trip down river to Utrecht. Unfortunately for Floris, a decade later he was imprisoned in his home and  stabbed twenty times.

Over the next 300 years, the castle had several owners. The more notable were Albert I, Duke of Bavaria who was the acting Count of both Holland and Zeeland and lived in the castle from 1370-1386. Followed by P.C. Hooft, who was a very famous author and poet and lived in the castle for 37 years between 1587-1647. Hooft used the castle as a place to entertain and socialize with his friends and colleagues, the who’s who of painters, scholars, and writers during the time period.

 

Muiderslot Castle

Muiderslot in 1649 via Wikipedia Commons.

 

P.C. Hooft was the last person who really made use of the castle grounds, and when he died it was turned into a prison. By the early 1800’s Muiderslot Castle was in ruins, and was set to be demolished until the property was saved by King William I in 1825. It took until around 1900 before work began on the castle, restoring it to it’s former glory.

Muiderslot Castle is now the best kept medieval castle in the country, and gives visitors a very unique look at Dutch history. It is also included as part of the Defense Line of Amsterdam, which is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site.

muiderslot castle

Visiting Muiderslot Castle

Muiderslot is a small castle, but that is honestly such a part of it’s charm. You can walk through the different rooms and experience the Dutch Golden Age, a time in history that the Dutch still hold onto with reverence- a time when they were one of the world’s superpowers.

The rooms, from the Knight’s Hall to the bedrooms, have been restored to look much like they did during the 17th century. While castles always tend to require a bit of imagination, they have done a terrific job making the imagining a little easier.

 

muiderslot castle

 

The armour collection is especially impressive, and there are fun displays that allow you to slip into costumes much like those that it’s former occupants would have worn. (We may have had too much fun with these ones.)

 

muiderslot castle

muiderslot castle

 

 

There are a lot of activities for children, making it a terrific destination for families. That being said, it will most definitely be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.

I would recommend taking a walk around the town of Muiden as well. There is a wonderful harbour directly outside of the castle, and the town itself looks as if it hasn’t changed in centuries. It is a very small town, so you won’t get lost exploring the tiny alleyways. There is a lot of space along the water to sit, and local cafes and bakeries where you can buy yourself lunch and enjoy watching the boats go by.

 

muiderslot castle

View of Muiderslot from Muiden.

 

Admission for Muiderslot Castle

Adults

€12,50

 

Children 4 – 11 years

€ 7,50

 

Children up to 3 years 

free

 

How to Get There

Muiden is very close to Amsterdam and you can get there in a variety of ways. I would highly recommend taking the train from Amsterdam Centraal Station to Weesp (the town where we once called home) and renting a bike. There is a bike rental shop at both Amsterdam Centraal and Weesp station. The trip will take you no more than 30 minutes one-way, and goes along the gorgeous River Vecht which is dotted with windmills and will really be worth your while.

If you have an Amsterdam travel ticket, it is valid to Muiden as well. Head to Amsterdam Amstel Station and take bus 320, 322, 327 or 328. 

Most recently they have added a route along the water, which I hope to take the next time I visit as it sounds wonderful. Take tram 26 from Centraal Station to the marina at Amsterdam Ijburg. The ferry is a traditional boat and will take you on a scenic trip to the castle. You can find out more information on their website.

 

 

I am guest posting today over at the wonderful blog Leaving Cairo. Go take a look, and check out Rebecca’s own adventures as a UK expat living in Greece.

Comments

comments