Moederslot Castle, Netherlands, description and photo

Meuderslot Castle

The most famous and possibly the most beautiful castle in the Netherlands, Meuderslot is located in the city of Meuden, 15 kilometers from Amsterdam.

The castle is connected with the life stories of two famous people, who played important roles in the history of the Netherlands: Floris V, Count of Holland, and Peter Hooft, a prominent writer, poet and playwright of the Dutch Renaissance.

At the mouth of the river Vecht stands a fortress, which outwardly is fully consistent with the prevailing romantic image of medieval castles: stone walls, battlements, deep moat, thick corner towers.

But as soon as you get inside, you feel as if you are in the paintings of Jan Sten, Vermeer and other artists of the XVII century. This whimsical combination is the hallmark of Moederslot Castle, which attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world every year.

Moederslot Castle was founded around 1280 by Floris V (1254-1296), Count of Holland and Zealand. An ambitious and active ruler, the earl built five other castles in England, but it was Meuderslot that he made his home.

It is worth noting that another brainchild of Floris V is Ridderzaal Castle in The Hague, now part of the Binnenhof complex, the parliament of the Netherlands.

The castle played a role in one of the most famous episodes of Dutch history. In 1296, rebellious nobles captured Floris V on a hunt and imprisoned him in the castle. Five days later, while trying to escape, the count was killed. In the same year the castle was destroyed almost to the ground. In 1370, Meuderslot was rebuilt from the ruins on the old foundations.

Peter Cornelison Hoeft (1581-1647), the famous merchant, poet, playwright, and writer, was owner of the castle from 1609 until his death. By virtue of his position he was also responsible for the military security and internal order of the area around Mölderslot. The reason for his move to the castle was trivial – while life in his house in Amsterdam near the Keizersgracht canal was quite bearable in winter, in summer Hoft suffered from the stench coming from the canal and the crowds.

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In Amsterdam, Hoft was used to fun and social life and feared that life in Meudersloot would be boring. Fortunately, his friends and colleagues were eager to visit him at the castle and this led to literary and musical evenings. These evenings brought together the most important artists of the 17th century, who came to Höft to write music, (booze), poetry, paintings, and discuss philosophy and current cultural trends in the Netherlands.

Since 1795, no one lived in Meuderslot and the castle gradually began to decline. In the 19th century plans began to appear for its demolition and the construction of another building in its place. The rooms of Möderslott were empty, not even the furniture was left.

The castle is the best preserved in the Netherlands is not quite true. Meudersdot can be called the most successfully restored castle in the Netherlands.

The first restoration began in 1876. And, as is often the case with ancient castles, the restorers relied not on plans and descriptions of the interiors, but on their own imagination.

The nineteenth century was the time of the greatest romanticization of the Middle Ages and chivalry. Knights, nobles, beauties, and massive impregnable castle-fortresses fit perfectly into this concept, no matter how historically accurate it was. Fortunately, during the second restoration (1956-1972), many historically incorrect details were replaced with the correct ones and the castle gained a more or less authentic look both inside and out.

Today, Meiderslot is rightly considered the most beautiful castle in the Netherlands. Today it is a state museum and holds a high standard of work on all fronts. The history of the castle from the Middle Ages to the 18th century is explained in detail. It is told by exhibitions of armor and weapons, restored interiors and furniture, as well as interactive boards and films shown in the halls of the castle.

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On your own you can visit all the Medieval parts of the castle – halls, rooms and exhibitions dedicated to that time. But the rooms of Moedersloht, relating to the Renaissance period and personally to Peter Höft, you can see only with a guide. During the half-hour tour you will learn all about the customs, lifestyle and culture of the Netherlands 400 years ago. The castle is ideal for families, because there is an interactive simulation of a medieval knight tournament and numerous historical quests for children.

However, it is not only the castle itself that is great for recreation – you can have a great time in its surroundings. Historic gardens have been restored around Moederslot, including the very popular plum orchard, which was restored in 2007.

An animated performance over the waters of the moat, which protected the castle from all sides, is also of interest to children.

Address: Herengracht 1, 1398 AA Muiden, Netherlands Tel: +31 294 256 262 Official website of the castle: muiderslot.nl

Meuderslot Castle

Castle Meuderslot

An authentic castle of knights with a history of 700 years, and yet perfectly preserved. Located near Amsterdam, Meuderslot Castle is a must-see for history buffs and history buffs alike.

Everything is almost the same as it was seven centuries ago – the castle is surrounded by a garden, there is a bird house where you can learn more about the knights’ favorite pastime – falconry, and inside there are preserved authentic household items.

At Moedersloht, you don’t have to walk through the halls with your ear to the audio guide. In fact, this traditional format of sightseeing can be complemented by trying on historical costumes or feel like a participant in medieval entertainment. Also in the castle there is almost literally a full cultural life – all sorts of events, concerts, festivals, competitions, etc. are constantly replacing each other.

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A bird's eye view of the castle

History

Moederslot was founded in 1285 by Count Floris V of the Netherlands. It was not by chance that he chose this site at the mouth of the Fecht river – the castle was supposed to be a reliable fortification. It was rather used to collect duties from merchant ships passing by. In 1296 the owner was killed while hunting and his brainchild was soon destroyed.

But such a strategic point could not stay empty for long – in less than a century the castle was rebuilt. It is this version of Meiderslot built in the 1370s, albeit with alterations, but survives to this day. Museum itself within its walls – it is also a history, because it exists since 1878.

Castle Meuderslot

Current state

Today Möidersloth is still impregnable – the castle is on an island, which can only be accessed from one side. To do so, you have to walk across the picturesque bridge.

Once on the island, the visitor enters the garden, which has also been around the castle for centuries. As before, it is divided into a vegetable garden and apothecary part. In each of them you can find plants, often used by man before and almost forgotten today.

There is also a quite unique object on the territory of Möiderslot – the pavilion with a water barrier. The castle used to be surrounded on four sides by water defenses. Today you can feel its power for yourself, but you should start by watching a documentary film. It tells about the history of the use of water barriers in the castle.

Entrance to the castle - across the moat on the bridge

In the courtyard is a falconry pavilion, where you can see various birds up close. There is a detailed story about the traditions of falconry.

At the museum there is a cafe, which in good weather sets up tables on the terrace. In the museum store you can buy a variety of souvenirs related to the era of knights and the history of the castle.

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Exposition

Still, the highlight of a visit to Moederslot is the walk through the halls. At the beginning, visitors are transported to the era of the “Golden Age” (XVI). These halls are full of paintings, furniture and other furnishings of the time.

Then the route leads to the domestic premises and there is something to see here as well. First you have to climb the spiral stone staircase with high steps, then you can see kitchen utensils, dishes and other household items. There is also a bedroom with an unusually short bed for modern people.

Downstairs you can see the cellars that once served as a prison. The thick walls, stinky dungeon air and lack of daylight make an indelible and slightly eerie impression.

Exposition inside

Excursions

You can visit the castle on your own or with a guide. You can book a tour on the site. It is recommended to do it in advance – about two weeks in advance. A total of five tours are available for booking, including gardens and fortifications.

There is a free audio guide for the Moederslot. It can be taken at the entrance in Russian, English and many other languages. In English you can also download a special app on your smartphone.

For children at the ticket office sold a special route sheets of the quest through the castle. Discovering its secrets and riddles this way is much more interesting, but the younger participants will need the active assistance of an adult.

Castle wall

Ticket price

Tickets for the visit can be purchased online on the museum website. The cost of admission is 15.50 euros for adults, 9 euros for children 4-11 years old, visitors younger go for free.

The tour will cost visitors 60 euros per hour for a group of up to 15 people. Materials for the children’s quest costs 2 euros.

Working schedule

Schloss Meiderslot is open from 10:00 to 17:00. From April 1 to October 31 it is open daily. From November 1 to March 31, Monday is a day off. However, if it falls on a public holiday or a Dutch school vacation, the castle is open as usual.

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Inner courtyard

How to get to Moederslot Castle

From Amsterdam, the best way to get to Möiderslot Castle is by car. Take the A1 highway out of the city and then follow the signs to Muiden/Muiderslot. A small parking lot near the castle is payable and costs 2.40 euros per hour. Free parking spaces are a 15-minute walk from Muiderslot.

Traveling by train from Amsterdam, take the train from the Central Station to Weesp. Next to the station, take the bus 110 that goes to Brandweerkazerne Muiden and then walk to the castle for about ten minutes.

Those who want to travel by bus need to leave from Amstel station. Take bus 320, 322 or 327 to P+R Muiden. Then change to bus 110 and repeat the route described in the previous paragraph.

However, the most scenic option is to go to Moederslot by water. From April to October, Amsterdam Tourist Ferry organizes daily trips on pleasure boats. They depart from the Amsterdam Ijburg pier, located at Bert Haanstrakade 1051. Tickets must be booked in advance.

You can also travel by cab. For example, call the city service Taxi Centrale Amsterdam (TCA) or use the Uber app.

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