Muiden, Netherlands

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


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrei Oprescu (2 years ago)
From a tourist point of view, this was a very nice insight into middle ages. It was nice having a small trip in history and understand a little bit of people's lives from the castle. There are even small concerts with medieval atmosphere, so it feels truly authentic. It's bike friendly, so you can visit it during your stay in Amsterdam (takes about 40 min to 1 hour).
Tomás Malone (2 years ago)
Great castle and surrounding garden and paths. Very interesting to see how the place was run and defended outside and in. Loads of cool little things to be seen all around the place. And an arcade game on the floor just above the drawbridge for kids and adults where you drop stones to stop the invaders from entering the castle.
Kiran Rao (2 years ago)
Super place. The parking place can be accessed until the entrance of the castle. The castle is very beautifully maintained. There is a lot for the kids to explore and learn regarding the king that ruled during 1500. There are nice parks and walking paths around the castle where you can spend time with family in eating and drinking together. Ensure to walk through the little peaks from where you can enjoy the green and natural background of Muiden.
Liron Weissenstern (2 years ago)
Lovely place to spend the day with kids. Age 3-8 were interested and enjoyed the nice audio presentation by themselves. The surrounding is beautiful, and we spent at least 2 hours outside just running around. We also ate some veggie sandwiches in the restaurant near the castle. Finished the trip with a relaxed time in the castle gardens with a free activity for the kids - drawing the flower of the garden. Surprisingly they all played along and really enjoyed it.
Adeel Qurashi (2 years ago)
Muiderslot is a well maintained castle. A lot of the rooms and areas are restored to mimic their original condition. They have done a great job at making the tour interesting, interactive and a learning experience for all ages. Recommend to take the audio tour as you get a nice background story to each of the rooms and space of the castle. The garden is also nice to walk around on a nice sunny day.
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