Loevestein Castle

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Loevestein Castle

Located in the small town of Poederoyen in the province of Gelderland, Loevestein Castle is located where the Meuse and Waal rivers meet. Loevestein is a water castle that was built between 1357 and 1368. In addition to being a strategic defensive work, Loevestein Castle also earned a good income from charging a toll to travellers. In the early 17th century, Loevestein became an official state prison, and the location for the most famous escape in Dutch history. The Castle was also part of the Dutch Water Line.

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Loevestein Castle (Slot Loevestein) is a medieval castle located in Gelderland. It was built by the knight Dirc Loef van Horne between 1357 and 1397. The castle was part of the historic Hollandic Water Line, the main Dutch defence line until the Second World War, and now serves as a medieval and archeological museum.

  • Discover the museum’s special collection of over 6,000 historical objects: archeological artefacts, books, and items about Loevestein and its people
  • “Unearthed!” is a unique archeological exhibition which explores how people used to live in the area dur-ing the middle ages.
  • Visit the room where Dutch historical figure Hugo de Groot, “the father of international law” was incarcer-ated.

Located in the small town of Poederoyen in the province of Gelderland, Loevestein Castle is located where the Meuse and Waal rivers meet. Loevestein is a water castle that was built between 1357 and 1368. In addition to being a strategic defensive work, Loevestein Castle also earned a good income from charging a toll to travellers. In the early 17th century, Loevestein became an official state prison, and the location for the most famous escape in Dutch history. The Castle was also part of the Dutch Water Line.

The escape of Hugo Grotius

One of the most famous prisoners kept in Loevestein Castle was Hugo Grotius. This Rotterdam scholar and Grand Pensionary made a most spectacular escape from Loevestein Castle, where he had been sentenced to life in prison. Although Grotius was locked up, he did have the right to literature, and every now and then, a large chest full of books was delivered. In the beginning, the guards would check the chest, but after a while, this happened less and less frequently. This gave Hugo Grotius’ wife, Maria van Reigersberch, the idea to smuggle her husband out in the chest. One day, Hugo Grotius saw his chance and got into the chest. He escaped and fled to France.

Unique nature reserve

Loevestein Castle offers fun for the whole family, all year round. Kids can dress up as a knight or damsel, and will be given a fun-filled tour of all of the highlights.  Adults can listen to an audio tour (available in Dutch and English), and hear all the stories of Loevestein. The solidly built castle is located right in the middle of a unique nature reserve. This makes it easy to combine a visit to Loevestein with a hike through this beautiful area, full of unusual plants and birds.

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Address: 
Loevestein 1
5307TG Poederoijen

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