Military Wiki
Muiden Castle
Muiden, the Netherlands
Muiderslot by Edi Weissmann.jpg
Muiden Castle
Type Castle
Coordinates Latitude: 52.3343
Longitude: 5.0714
Built 1370
Built by Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria
Open to
the public
Muiderslot (Atlas van Loon).jpg
Atlas van Loon (1649)

Muiden Castle (Dutch: Muiderslot, Dutch pronunciation: [ˌmœydərˈslɔt]) is a castle in the Netherlands, located at the mouth of the Vecht river, some 15 kilometers southeast of Amsterdam, in Muiden, where it flows into what used to be the Zuiderzee. It's one of the better known castles in the Netherlands and has been featured in many television shows set in the Middle Ages.


Floris V

The history of Muiden Castle begins with Count Floris V who built a stone castle at the mouth of the river back in 1280, when he gained command over an area that used to be part of the See of Utrecht.[1] The Vecht river was the trade route to Utrecht, one of the most important trade towns of that age. The castle was used to enforce a toll on the traders. It is a relatively small castle, measuring 32 by 35 metres with brick walls well over 1.5 metres thick. A large moat surrounded the castle.

In 1296 Gerard van Velsen conspired together with Herman van Woerden, Gijsbrecht IV of Amstel, and several others to kidnap Floris V. The count was eventually imprisoned in Muiden Castle. After Floris V attempted to escape, Gerard personally killed the count on the 27th of June 1296 by stabbing him 20 times. The alleged cause of the conflict between the nobles was the rape of Gerard van Velsen's wife by Floris.[2]

In 1297 the castle was conquered by Willem van Mechelen, the Archbishop of Utrecht, and by the year 1300 the castle had been razed to the ground.[1]

Fourteenth century

A hundred years later (ca. 1370-1386) the castle was rebuilt on the same spot based on the same plan, by Albert I, Duke of Bavaria, who at that time was also the Count of Holland and Zeeland.[1]

P.C. Hooft

The next famous owner of the castle shows up in the 16th century, when P.C. Hooft (1581-1647), a famous author, poet and historian took over sheriff and bailiff duties for the area (Het Gooiland). For 39 years he spent his summers in the castle and invited friends, scholars, poets and painters such as Vondel, Huygens, Bredero and Maria Tesselschade Visscher, over for visits. This group became known as the Muiderkring.[3] He also extended the garden and the plum orchard, while at the same time an outer earthworks defense system was put into place.

18th century

At the end of the 18th century, the castle was first used as a prison, then abandoned and became derelict. Further neglect caused it to be offered for sale in 1825, with the purpose of it being demolished. Only intervention by King William I prevented this. Another 70 years went by until enough money was gathered to restore the castle to its former glory.

Modern times

Muiden Castle is currently a national museum (Rijksmuseum). The insides of the castle, its rooms and kitchens, have been restored to look like they did in the 17th century and several of the rooms now house a good collection of arms and armour.

See also


  • Kransber, D. & H. Mils, Kastelengids van Nederland, middeleeuwen, Bussem 1979 (ISBN 90 228 3856 0)
  • Kalkwiek, K.A., A.I.J.M. Schellart, H.P.H. Jansen & P.W. Geudeke, Atlas van de Nederlandse kastelen, Alphen aan den Rijn 1980 (ISBN 90 218 2477 9)
  • Helsdingen, H.W. van, Gids voor de Nederlandse kastelen en buitenplaatsen, Amsterdam 1966
  • Tromp, H.M.J., Kijk op kastelen, Amsterdam 1979 (ISBN 90 10 02446 6)
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A.T.E. Cruysheer, Het Muiderslot; een archeologische begeleiding en een historische interpretatie, Jaarboek 2005 van de Archeologische afdeling Naerdincklant, pp. 48-55
  2. Henry S. Lucas, The Problem of the Poems concerning the Murder of Count Floris V of Holland, Speculum , Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr., 1957), pp. 283-298
  3. Hans Kauffmann, Rembrandt und die Humanisten vom Muiderkring, Jahrbuch der Preuszischen Kunstsammlungen , 41. Bd., (1920), p. 60

External links

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