The country's most famous medieval castle is the Rijksmuseum Muiderslot in Noord-Holland's Muiden. This stronghold on the estuary of the Vecht was built around 1280 by Count Floris V, but in 1296 it was destroyed by Bishop Willem van Mechelen. In 1370 a new castle was built on the remains of the old one, which remains in perfect condition to this day, 600 years later.
The Muiderslot has served as a courthouse, national prison, and the official residence of its castellans. One of the most famous such castellan (or castle constable) was the writer and poet P.C. Hooft, who lived there from 1609 to 1674. During his time the Muiderslot was the apex of science and art, serving as a meeting place for leading citizens known as the Muiderkring.
Visit Muiderslot Castle and its gardens
The Muiderslot, surrounded by a splendid castle moat, is furnished and decorated with art and everyday objects from the time of Hooft. The castle is open to visitors for a great part of the year. The herb garden, too, is certainly worth a visit.