The most famous medieval castle in Holland is the Muiderslot National Museum in Muiden. This fortress at the mouth of the River Vecht was built around 1280 by Count Floris V. Soon thereafter, in 1296, the castle was destroyed by Bishop Willem van Mechelen. In 1380, a new castle was built on the ruins of the old one. The castle is in perfect condition now, some 600 years later, and each year thousands of curious visitors come here, longing to pretend they are a knight or damsel for a day.
Poet P.C. Hooft
The Muiderslot has been a court building, a prison and the official residence of castle wardens. One of the most famous of these wardens was the author and poet, P.C. Hooft, a man whose name many know and associate with the exclusive shopping street in Amsterdam, the P.C. Hooftstraat. He lived at the castle from 1609 to 1674. During this period, the Muiderslot was an important center for science and art, and the meeting place for a group of prominent citizens known as the Muiderkring.
The Muiderslot is surrounded by a beautiful castle moat. The castle has works of art and everyday utensils from the time Hooft lived there on display. The castle is open to visitors most of the year. There are various routes you can follow both in and around the castle, but if you visit the Muiderslot, don’t forget to include a stroll through the herb garden during your stay!
If you are travelling from Amsterdam, you can get to the Muiderslot by boat. Take the Rederij het IJ ferry service from the IJburg terminal (tram line 26 from Central Station), which stops at Pampus Island and the Muiderslot. The tickets for this trip are combination tickets that you can purchase on board.