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Location: Washington State, United States

24 August 2006

A Castle in Holland

When B and I went to Holland in 2001, a main goal was for him to visit his first castle.
It is not generally known that Holland has many castles scattered over the land. Muiderslot is one, complete with a moat and drawbridge. It is about 9 miles north of Amsterdam, which helps make it the most visited castle in Holland. It was built in 1280 by Count Floris V, who used it to enforce a toll on traders. After Floris was killed in 1296 by rebelling noblemen, the castle was besieged and destroyed. In 1370, a new castle was built on the remains of the old one, and it is still there.

The Muiderslot has been used as a courthouse, national prison and the official residence of castellans (castle constables.) The writer and poet P.C. Hooft was one the most famous castellans. He lived there from 1609 to 1674, and during this time, the castle was the center of science and art. Hooft also the large gardens around the castle, which are still there today.
After being used as a prison in the end of the 18th century, the castle fell into ruins. It went up for sale in 1825, with the purpose of wrecking it. Due to protests, King Willem I stopped the sale, and Muiderslot was restored. It is now a national museum. The interior now looks much like it did in the 17th century, and it has an excellent collection of arms and armor.
We went to Muiderslot the first day B was in Holland (I had already been there for two weeks.)B loved being in a real castle. We really regret that we didn't have enough time to see more of them. You know, it's funny that we were in a country that we could drive through in two and a half hours, yet we barely got to see anything. And it's not like we were sitting around; everday we were out and about.
There will be more stories about this trip. The major memory was that we were there during 9/11, my purse was stolen, and we were scheduled to return 9/15. Just a bit of a teaser...


Anonymous Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Wonderful old castle! Looks almost like the ones we saw in Scotland. I love old buildings.

That may be one place we have to visit if we go to Holland again.
I wrote a post yesterday about North Holland which we've been to last year.

29 August, 2006 11:03  
Blogger INAMINI said...

Thanks, mrs lifecruiser. I read your post also. It's nice that you enjoyed it. I like to see what other people say about Holland.

29 August, 2006 12:11  

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