The Coolest Castle in the Netherlands
Muiderslot Castle in Muiden, a one-hour journey by bus or bicycle from Amsterdam Central Station, was built around 1285 by Count Floris V of Holland to control access to Utrecht via the Vecht river. After three of his noblemen murdered Floris in 1296, the Bishop of Utrecht, who was annoyed by the toll at Muiden, destroyed the castle. Around 1370, seven Counts of Holland down the line, Duke Albrecht I of Bavaria rebuilt & expanded Muiderslot Castle, based on its original layout (⌘), because it was strategically positioned vis-à-vis the Duchy of Guelders. Today, owing to its drawbridge, bailey, towers & battlements, it’s the quintessential medieval moated castle, featuring everything you could possibly expect from a 14th-century stronghold.
The castle’s most prominent resident was the renowned poet, playwright & historian Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1647), who moved in after he was appointed sheriff of Muiden & bailiff of Het Gooi in 1609. After he & his second wife married in 1627, they had the interior modernized according to the fashion of the day. Hooft also planted a plum orchard & a garden in Dutch classicist style, which supplied the castle with vegetables, fruit & herbs. In 1825, following the French occupation of the Netherlands, Muiderslot Castle was completely dilapidated and even came close to being demolished, but in 1878 it was converted to a museum instead. Since then, the building & its interior have been thoroughly renovated, making it the coolest castle in the country again.muiderslot.nl