The most impressive castle in the Netherlands
Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot
If you wanna know what the medieval life and time in the Netherlands looked like (well, of the rich and famous) you should definitely pay a visit to the well-preserved Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot. It is located at the little yet very charming city called Muiden and makes a perfect attraction for a day trip from Amsterdam. And trust me, this kick-ass castle meets all of your expectations of what a medieval castle should look like nowadays.
Who built this place?
The Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot was constructed around 1285 by Count Floris V when he gained control over the surrounding area. Located at the mouth of the river, it was a very strategic place to enforce toll on traders on their way to Utrecht which, back then, was a very important trade town. Allegedly, at the end of the century, the count got caught for rape, was killed and the castle was demolished. It was rebuilt some decennia later.
Medieval castle toilets
Toilets are a very distinctive feature of medieval castles including the Amsterdam Castle. They were built into the walls and projected out over the castle’s walls so that the waste drops straight into the moat (the ditch or water around the castle). They lacked the luxury of a door allowing you to continue the conversation with your family and guests during your ‘pitstop’. Take a walk around the castle and try to imagine what a toilet visit might have looked like from the outside.
The Prince’s room
The living quarters are decorated with furniture from the 17th century and totally reflect the splendor of that time. I’d love to spend a night at the guest room, also known as the Prince’s room, and sleep in that amazing bed; a true showpiece! Wondering how I would squeeze my 181,5 meter tall body into that short bed? Back then people used to sleep sitting up because they believed that if you lie down the blood flows to your head causing mental issues. I hope they were wrong about this.
What are the best places for drinks?
Have a drink at one of the terraces around the Great sea locks. This is the perfect spot for watching the commotion arising from private vessels trying to maneuver into the sea locks. They often end up across, much to the annoyance of the more experienced skippers. This is a comedy theatre at its best and it is for free! I can’t wait to start organizing Comedy Walks in Muiden, it just seems meant to be.
I wanted to have a drink at the restaurant Fort H, but during my visit, in May 2019 it was closed for renovations. So please if you happen to visit this place in the near future leave your comments below. And on your way to Fort H quickly peek inside the St Nicolas Church from the 15th century. The tower, once built as a lookout post, dates back to the 12th century.
How do you get there?
If you wanna use public transportation to go to the Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot you can take the train, the bus or the boat. I guess the boat is the most fun, but I took the train/bus myself. Click here for more information on public transportation to the Amsterdam Castle (information available in Dutch, English, and German).
You can also go by car or bicycle. Here is the route and the address:
1398 AA Muiden
About the author: Laura Kok is a co-founder of Comedy Walks: stand-up comedy shows with the city as a stage, or, if you like, city tours with a professional stand-up comedian as a guide. We currently run Comedy Walks in Amsterdam and Washington DC. By far the most fun way to explore a city!
All information in the blog posts is based on personal experiences and commission free (“I rather drink coffee with inspiring entrepreneurs than compete with them for 20 cents commission for our customers’ coffee” – L.D. Kok).