Situated just 15 kilometers south of Amsterdam and along the river Vecht sits Muiderslot castle. This well-known castle is located in the town of Muiden and was built in 1370 by Albrecht, the Duke of Bavaria. Muiderslot is now included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and has been featured in a number of television shows set in the Medieval era. Today, the castle is used as a national museum and is open to the public.
The History of Muiderslot
In 1280, Count Floris V built a stone castle along the mouth of the Vecht river after assuming control over the nearby area. At the time, the river was the trade route to the town of Utrecht and was an essential trade town in the Netherlands. With walls as thick as 1.5 meters and only measuring 32 by 35 meters, Muiderslot is a fairly small castle. The moat that surrounded the castle, however, provided extra protection.
In 1296, a group of men conspired together to kidnap the count and he would eventually become imprisoned in the castle. After an attempted escape, the count was stabbed 20 times and killed. Just one year after the count’s death, the castle was taken over by the Archbishop of Utrecht and Willem van Mechelen. By the time 1300 came around, the castle had been completely destroyed.
One hundred years later, the castle was finally rebuilt in the same location and based on the same plans as the original structure. The new Muiderslot was built by Albert I, Duke of Bavaria. By the end of the 18th century, the castle was being used as a prison before becoming completely abandoned. After falling into ruin, the castle was put up for sale with the intention of demolishing the structure. King William I intervened and prevented the destruction of Muiderslot. It would be another 70 years before enough money was collected to restore the castle.
A National Museum
Muiderslot serves as a national museum today and can be toured by the general public. The interior of the castle has been restored to look as it would have during the 17th century. Many of the rooms also feature collections of arms and armor from the Medieval era.
The museum’s opening hours vary throughout the year.
- April 1 – October 21: 10AM until 5PM during the week and 12PM until 5PM on the weekend
- February 15 – March 2: 12PM until 5PM Monday through Sunday
- December 21 – January 5: 12PM until 5PM Monday through Sunday
The castle is closed from November 1st through December 21st and between January 6th and March 31st. Muiderslot is also closed on December 25 and 30 as well as January 1st. Please visit the Muiderslot website for admission price information.