The Muiderslot is one of the better known castles in the Netherlands and has been featured in many television shows set in the Middle Ages. The history of castle begins with Count Floris V who built a stone castle at the mouth of the river back in 1280, when he gained command over an area that used to be part of the See of Utrecht. The River Vecht was the trade route to Utrecht, one of the most important trade towns of that age. The castle was used to enforce a toll on the traders. It is a relatively small castle, measuring 32 by 35 metres with brick walls well over 1.5 metres thick. A large moat surrounded the castle.

In 1296 Gerard van Velsen conspired together with Herman van Woerden, Gijsbrecht IV of Amstel, and several others to kidnap Floris V. The count was eventually imprisoned in the Muiderslot. After Floris V attempted to escape, Gerard personally killed the count on the 27th of June 1296 by stabbing him 20 times. The alleged cause of the conflict between the nobles was the rape of Gerard van Velsen's wife by Floris

In 1297 the castle was conquered by Willem van Mechelen, the Archbishop of Utrecht, and by the year 1300 the castle had been razed to the ground. A hundred years later (ca. 1370-1386) the castle was rebuilt on the same spot based on the same plan, by Albert I, Duke of Bavaria, who at that time was also the Count of Holland and Zeeland.

The next famous owner of the castle shows up in the 16th century, when P.C. Hooft (1581-1647), a famous author, poet and historian took over sheriff and bailiff duties for the area (Het Gooiland). For 39 years he spent his summers in the castle and invited friends, scholars, poets and painters such as Vondel, Huygens, Bredero and Maria Tesselschade Visscher, over for visits. This group became known as the Muiderkring. He also extended the garden and the plum orchard, while at the same time an outer earthworks defense system was put into place.

At the end of the 18th century, the castle was first used as a prison, then abandoned and became derelict. Further neglect caused it to be offered for sale in 1825, with the purpose of it being demolished. Only intervention by King William I prevented this. Another 70 years went by until enough money was gathered to restore the castle in its former glory.

The Muiderslot is currently a national museum (Rijksmuseum). The insides of the castle, its rooms and kitchens, have been restored to look like they did in the 17th century and several of the rooms now house a good collection of arms and armour.

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Founded: 1370
Category: Castles and fortifications in Netherlands

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User Reviews

Pearl Xia (14 months ago)
A very good castle with a lot of entertainment for kids. It’s a great place for family. Good condition and thoughtful service. I suggest you go there with museum card, so it’s for free, otherwise the entrance is not very cheap.
Michael Kearney (15 months ago)
This is a must see if you go to Amsterdam ! it is an amazing step back in time. you get to see exactly how they lived in the castle. I was not to keen to go but my father said I should and I am very glad I went it was truly amazing.
Jordan Maduro (15 months ago)
A nice way to spend 2 to 3 hours learning and seeing some history. the castle has a small parking lot right in front of the entrance. We went on a tour which was pretty short I think 4 to 5 rooms. However, it was jam-packed with information about the history, inhabitants and cultural influences. You can walk freely around the courtyard, two towers and around the castle. There is a souvenir shop and also a cafe. Price for food and drinks are slightly marked up, for example, a bag of chips 1.25 euro, donut 1.75 euro, and bottled water 2,50 euro ( @ the time of writing ) Spent about 2 and a half hours to see the most of the place.
AccessibleTravel.Online (15 months ago)
A great place to visit, unfortunately not accessible. In summer there are bird shows and historic figures. Not sure if they have guides/story tellers/ video to share the castles history.
Eveline Pratasik (2 years ago)
If you love history, particularly medieval time, then you’ll love this place! I would really recommend the tour around the castle. We had an old lady as our tour guide and she was amazing. The parking lot is close to the ticket booth which was very handy. Very suitable for kids, a nice outing for kids. The souvenirs shop is a bit small.
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