Top 5 the most interesting castles in the Netherlands: Part 1.

Dutch castles worth visiting.

Chateau de Haar

European vacations are cobblestone streets, tiled roofs and, of course, romantic castles. While lesser known than their French or German counterparts, the Dutch castles are just as famous.

Maiderslot Castle

Muiderslot is the most famous and one of the most beautiful castles in the Netherlands. It looks as if it walked off the pages of a chivalrous novel.

Its first owner was the ruler of the Dutch county of Floris V. Could he have imagined that Meijderslot would become his prison? In 1296 Floris V was seized by his own nobles and imprisoned in a room as a result of a conspiracy. Alas, the Earl was murdered while trying to escape. His ghost is said to haunt the corridors of Maederslot to this day.

In addition to ancient interiors and beautiful views from the castle walls, Maiderslot has many interactive activities for adults and children: you can try on medieval attire, hold a sword, and even fight in a knight’s tournament riding a mechanical horse.

The entrance fee is 15,50 euros. In winter the castle is open only on weekends, in summer – all week. Normal opening hours are from 12:00 to 17:00. But before you plan a trip, check the official website to clarify the information.

Getting to the castle from Amsterdam is easy. This is one of the reasons for its popularity among tourists. So, at the station Amsterdam Centraal you have to take a train to the station Weesp, then take bus number 110 to Maiden (stop Muiden Centrum) and walk 10 minutes through the picturesque Dutch town to the castle gate. The whole journey takes no more than an hour.

De Haar Castle

The biggest and one of the youngest castles in the Netherlands. Its history began in the late XIX century when the heir of these lands, Baron Etienne Van Zeulen, married Helen de Rothschild. At the expense of the famous bankers and was built De Haar (De Haar).

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The castle even had electric lighting and steam heating – an unprecedented luxury for that time. Today anyone can visit De Haar. For an extra 3 euros you can enter a place which is usually off-limits: the maid’s floor. There you can learn how maids and footmen lived and worked. By the way, the servants had a separate staircase where they walked in order not to be seen by the gentlemen.

It takes about an hour and a half to get from Amsterdam to the castle. The easiest way is to first take the train to Utrecht and then take bus number 9 directly to the gate of the park, where De Haar is located. The official website of the castle offers other options for travel, in our opinion, less convenient.

De Haar welcomes guests every day, from 11:00 to 17:00. A regular admission ticket will cost 17 euros.

Loevestein Castle

Loevestein, a small castle in the south of the Netherlands, was built in the 14th century. Times were turbulent: it was regularly besieged. But surprisingly, the castle became famous not as a fortification but as a prison. According to the plot, the main character of Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Black Tulip serves his sentence here. The most famous real prisoner of Louvain is the Dutch philosopher Hugo Grotius. He managed to escape from his prison by hiding in a book chest. The story of the daring escape is told during a tour of the castle.

A trip to Louwestein is an adventure in itself. First, the castle is quite far from Amsterdam. Secondly, no transport except the ferry goes to it. So, if you are ready to travel, your way to the ferry crossing of Woudrichem. To get there, you have to take the train to Utrecht in Amsterdam. Then take bus number 401 at Utrecht Centraal railway station and get off at the Tol West, Sleeuwijk stop. Change again, this time with bus number 12. The bus will take you to picturesque Woodriham. Another 15 minutes on foot and you’re there. The ticket costs 3,40 euros. Ferry schedules change depending on the season, and you can find up-to-date information on the Louvestein website.

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Admission to the castle costs 14 euros. Louvestein receives guests from 11:00 to 17:00. From May to September is open to the public every day, and from October to April – only on weekends.

Leiden Castle

Today from the Castle of Leiden (Burcht van Leiden) remains only the walls. But they are the oldest in the Netherlands. The fortress was built in the XI century to protect the crossing of the Rhine.

In 1203 Countess Ada of Holland tried to hide there from the troops of her uncle, who did not want to see his niece as ruler of the country. Unfortunately, the structure could not withstand the siege and the young countess was taken prisoner. The castle is located on a hilltop, practically in the center of the old town. Climbing the castle walls will be a great addition to a walk around Leiden. Don’t forget to bring your camera: the view from the top is breathtaking.

Entrance to the castle is free. The gates are open every day, from 8 am to 10 pm.

Trains from Amsterdam Central Station go to Leiden every 10-15 minutes. Travel time is just over half an hour.

Naarden Star Fortress

Naarden is a unique fortress in the shape of a six-pointed star. In XIV-XVI centuries in Europe many similar fortifications were under construction, but none has remained as well preserved as this one. Over the centuries, the fortress-star has suffered several serious sieges, the last of which was in 1814, when Napoleon’s soldiers entrenched there resisted the Russian Cossacks.

You can also stroll around the historic site on your own, but it is better to visit the fortress history museum, located at the Turfpoort bastion. There you can not only climb the fortifications and take pictures with guns, but also look inside the fortress walls. In some places the casemates are dark, so do not forget the flashlight. The entrance ticket costs 9.50 euros. The museum is open every day except Monday from 10:30 to 17:00. Check the official website for opening times.

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From Amsterdam Central Station in the direction of Naarden there is a train every half hour. Get off at Weesp station and take bus number 110 or 210, which will take you right to the fortress.

It is not only the ancient castles that preserve the spirit of the old Holland. Come here and you will find many interesting offers to discover the Netherlands.

Whichever castle or fortress you go to, you should do a couple of things before you go. Check the opening hours on the castle’s website and make an itinerary in advance on public transportation.

It’s even easier if you plan to travel in Holland by car. You can rent a car here, for example.

Lastly, bring breathable clothing and a good mood. More roads and happy discoveries!

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