Moederslot Castle in the Netherlands

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Muiderslot is one of the best preserved and restored medieval castles in the Netherlands. It is located in Muiderden, 15 km from Amsterdam. The castle of Meuderslot looks fabulous and graceful, and it is located at the mouth of the river Vecht, which flows into the bay of Lake Eijsselmer. The river Vecht was the transport artery between Maiden and the commercial port of Utrecht. A transport tax was collected at the castle on all ships that sailed through the place. Meyderslot Castle was founded in 1280. Although it was surrounded by a deep moat, high towers and thick walls, the structure was never a real military fortification. From the beginning the fort was a customs house on the Utrecht trade route and probably never heard the clanking of weapons under its walls. In 1370 the castle was rebuilt in the same place and on the same plan, increasing the height of the towers and walls. According to the plan, it was a four-cornered building with towers at each corner, measuring 32 by 35 meters. The hinged bridge was reinforced by an additional quadrangular tower with a small gate. The castle is surrounded by ditches with water. The Moederslot Castle is a branch of the State Museum of Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum), with antique furniture, a collection of medieval weapons and armor, and a gallery of portraits. I saw the Castle as part of a guided tour and started in the Dining Hall. This room features paintings of food and utensils of the time. All originals, taken from the collection of the Riksmuseum in Amsterdam. Many artists sought to depict delicacies on their canvases to show their skill (since few people saw them, it was a curiosity for many). The chair-cabin is for keeping warm. Since it was cold in the Castle (the North Sea was not far away), the furniture was chosen accordingly. In the kitchen, the “place of honor” spices. The Dutch can’t imagine their life without them: pepper, cinnamon, cloves. What their ancestors brought from the colonies, is now an integral part of their daily lives. The Castle Ballroom amazes everyone with its size and interior. Note the bench by the fireplace: when sitting to get warm, they turned the back of the bench upside down and warmed their backs (medieval know-how). Inside the castle, the interiors of the Middle Ages are recreated: paintings, tapestries, furniture, utensils and weapons. You can try on medieval clothing and even repel an attack by an enemy on the walls of the castle. One of the local tourists paid attention to an interesting detail: around the perimeter of the hall plinth of tiles, each of which has a different pattern. It turned out that this was part of a children’s game. Wherever a dropped ball lands, that’s the game they play. Wouldn’t you like to do that at home? The castle is really a lot of things have been preserved. And yes, everything breathes with history. There is almost no new construction – only chairs in the cafe, in the courtyard of the Castle -)) The remained collection of furniture and a life of that time is collected in several halls of the Castle, therefore sometimes there is a feeling of crowding of furniture. Some of the rooms of the Castle can only be accessed with a guide by appointment for a tour (register your ticket at the counter at the entrance to the bridge). The tour is in Dutch, then light translation into English, but the good citizens, the natives are easy to help in addition, all worried that we, the Intourists, do not catch up with something -)) No one has guessed what the string in the bed is for. Until the guide said, we did not figure it out (to get up from the bed – i.e., instead of a handrail).

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Since ancient times, the appearance of Maiderslot Castle has not changed much. But the castle itself has seen many owners over the centuries. At the end of the fourteenth century, the owner of the castle was Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria, who at the time was also Count of Holland and Zeeland. The darkest period in the history of Muiderslot, begins at the end of the 18th century. It is turned into a prison, then for several decades it stands completely abandoned, with frightening dark loopholes and overgrown stone walls. At the end of XIX century the castle was revived and regained its former glory. Next we went for a walk around the towers of the Castle on our own. There are 48 loopholes on the grim stone walls. The red tent is a nursery with falcons, eagles and owls. At the mouth of the De Fecht River, where the South Sea (Söiderse) used to be, an important trans-shipment point of Meuden arose in the 10th century. There was laid a port for the export of goods, which belonged to the city and the province of Utrecht. Around 1280 Count Floris V of Holland and Zealand, who was also called the God of Keerlen, laid the castle of Meuderslot. In 1350 the castle was rebuilt and greatly expanded. It played an important role in the Dutch defense system. The castle’s towers display portraits with brief descriptions of every king who ever ruled the country. The real heyday of the Maiderslot was at the beginning of the 17th century, when the castle belonged to the poet Pieter Cornelis Hooft. At that time, the castle became a center for the arts, theatrical plays were often staged here, music and singing were played, and balls and feasts replaced the gray of everyday life. From the towers of the Castle everything in the area is clearly visible. This is the view of the bridge over the moat and the garden from the Castle Tower. Where the arches made of trees are the main entrance to the Castle garden. What I like about Castle Müderslot is that you can walk all the castle walls between the towers and climb all the defenses around the Castle. The central tower at the entrance to the Castle. A view of the garden from it. In the courtyard of the Castle well. Next to the well tables of the cafe. What cheeky birds next to any cafe. But this one is okay, but in Madurodam there were fat and loud seagulls. Near the walls of the Castle, as I said, there is a nursery with eagles, falcons and owls. If you are not afraid of them they give you a special glove, put a bird on your hand and you can have a picture. Also allowed to pet, but only the bravest. I do not dare. For visitors to the Castle are often organized various shows. I caught extracurricular activities of local schoolchildren, a few groups of Dutch schoolchildren, then went on a tour, then played the “medieval battles. Muiderslot is one of the oldest castles in the Netherlands. But despite its considerable age and tragic history, it is perfectly preserved: the interior decoration of the castle fully reflects the life of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Behind the gates of the Castle there is a wonderful Garden and Park. The entrance to the Castle Garden The Spice Garden is in the park at Muiderslot Castle. Blackbird, the male center of the garden is a pergola with a tree on top Behind the fence is a terminal to sign up for a guided tour, otherwise the old halls of the Castle can not walk, only on their own through the modern exposition in the towers. In the garden there are arbors and benches, you can take a walk, you can just sit and relax among such beauty. Birdwort umbrella wild hyacinth prickly brook Aquilegia Aquilegia blooms from May to June with white, pink, blue and purple flowers with original spurs, which accumulate moisture, for which it was called Aquiflorum. The flowers emit a light, pleasant fragrance.
  • lacphiolus – cheiranthus Along with forget-me-nots and primroses, these are the first spring flowers. In the second year after planting it blooms with fragrant yellow, orange, sometimes purple, violet, cream flowers. Height 20-60 cm, blooms from May to June. bundle of grass creeper I do not know how many gardeners in the state, but the garden looks very well maintained, although the area is huge. There is a plum orchard on the back side of the Main Entrance to the Castle. From there is a great view of the Straits and the Yacht Club. The most beautiful castle in Holland is Muiderslot, it is so Gothic that it looks like an illustration from a novel about the adventures of medieval knights. Getting there: From Amsterdam Amsterdam bus station take bus 320, 322, 327 to Maiden and then follow the signs on foot. On the way you will meet the lock bridge and from there you will see the castle.
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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.

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Castle Meuderslot.

A true knight’s castle with 700 years of history and yet perfectly preserved. Möiderslot Castle is located near Amsterdam and is a must-see for all fans of the era and just lovers of historical sites.

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

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.

History

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.

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.

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Modern state

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

A bird's eye view of the castle

Once on the island, the visitor enters the garden, which also exists at the castle for more than a century. As before, it is divided into a vegetable garden and an 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.

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.

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.

Moederslot Castle

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.

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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.

Entrance to the castle - across the moat on the bridge

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.

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.

Exposition inside

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.

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.

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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.

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