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Kasteel Radboud – The Last of Floris V’s Fortresses

Kasteel Radboud in Medemblik

Along the east bank of the Medemblik harbor in North Holland sits Kasteel Radboud. Built in the 1200s, the castle was one of many commissioned by Floris V. While the exact building date of the castle remains a mystery, we do know that the castle was already completed during the St. Lucia’s Flood in December of 1287.

In 1517, the castle was used to save the townspeople of Medemblik from Gruette Pier and his band of pirates. The castle is the last surviving stronghold of Floris V and now serves as a museum. The castle’s defenses would grow weak in the late 1500s because of dismantling and lack of maintenance.

Kasteel Radboud achterkant - MedemblikThe castle’s name, Radboud, refers to the ancient Frisian king of the same name. King Radboud was related to the castle only in a legend that was published in 1517. While it is possible that an older ancient fortress once stood where the castle stands today, there is no clear evidence to connect Radboud to the castle and it was primarily used as a prison.

Restoring Kasteel Radboud

The state resumed control of the property in 1889 and restorations were carried out by architect J. van Lokhorst with guidance from the famous R.J.H. Cuypers. Until 1934, the castle was used for the district court of justice.

In 1931, the cannery just outside of the castle burned to the ground and exposed the foundation of a tower in the northern region of the castle grounds. In 1936, the castle’s moat was dug once again. Restorations to the castle continued in 1964 to restore the castle’s medieval appearance.


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