Slot Loevestein is a 14th century citadel in central Netherlands. One of the crucial visited medieval castles within the nation, Loevestein Fort was first constructed as a house for a Knight, then expanded right into a fortress and was later used as a jail. Throughout WWII, the citadel was utilised as a storage facility for the Nationwide Archives and vital artistic endeavors. Many Dutch know Loevestein Fort because the notorious jail from which Hugo de Groot, an influential lawyer and theologist within the seventeenth century, escaped in a e-book chest – this legendary story is instructed at faculties throughout the nation. It’s this fascinating historical past that makes a go to to Loevestein Fort completely worthwhile. The citadel will also be simply be included in a road trip around the Grote Rivieren or Great Rivers of Central Netherlands.
A short historical past of Loevestein Fort
Loevestein Fort was constructed as a single tower round 1361, as the house of Knight Dirc Loef van Horne, and was later expanded right into a citadel. Recognising the strategic location of the citadel, the highly effective Rely of Holland took management of the citadel in 1372. The citadel was additional expanded right into a fortress with greater partitions and a deeper moat. Within the centuries that adopted, Loevestein Fort noticed many conquests by native and overseas powers. Throughout the Eighty Years Battle within the sixteenth century, the citadel switched palms a number of occasions between the Dutch and the Spaniards. When the Dutch reclaimed the citadel for good, they additional fortified the citadel, including ramparts and moats.
The citadel grew to become an vital a part of the Oude & Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (Previous and New Dutch Water Line), a seventeenth century protection line designed to guard the cities within the north and west (reminiscent of Amsterdam and Leiden). This protection line consisted of fortresses and sluice gates, which might be opened to flood the land with the intention to impede an advancing military. This community of water-based protection programs may actually rework Holland into an island!
The story of Hugo de Groot
Within the seventeenth century, the citadel was became a state jail. Probably the most well-known prisoner was Hugo de Groot (or Hugo Grotius), a lawyer, diplomat, author and theologist, who was delivered to Slot Loevestein in 1619. Whereas there, he started writing a few of his most vital work reminiscent of De jure belli ac pacis libri tres (On the Legislation of Battle and Peace: Three books).
His work was extremely influential in shaping the ideas and conventions of worldwide regulation – in reality, throughout my college days, his books have been a part of my Worldwide Relations syllabus. In 1621, with the assistance of his spouse, Hugo de Groot escaped from Slot Loevestein by being transported away in a e-book chest! He then lived in Paris, Hamburg and Stockholm earlier than dying in a shipwreck in 1645. He was laid to relaxation within the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) in Delft.
Visiting Slot Loevestein
Slot Loevestein makes for an attention-grabbing go to, particularly for historical past buffs and followers of medieval structure. The doorway ticket contains entry to the citadel in addition to to the everlasting exhibitions within the adjoining buildings.
After your go to to the citadel, I recommend going for a stroll across the meadows, marshes and lakes surrounding the citadel. This space is very nice for bird-watching.
Attending to Slot Loevestein
Slot Loevestein (map) is located on the convergence of two vital rivers, the Waal and the Maas (Meuse), within the province of Gelderland, a bit greater than an hour’s drive from Amsterdam. Tickets might be booked on-line and there are two methods of getting to the castle: by automotive, or by ferry from the close by cities of Woudrichem or Gorinchem. It could simply be visited as a day trip from Amsterdam however I like to recommend spending a bit extra time on this area of the Nice Rivers as there’s a lot to see and do. I spent the evening on the close by fortress city of Woudrichem. Seek for accommodations in Woudrichem.
Go to Woudrichem
Woudrichem (pronounced as Workum within the native dialect) is an enthralling medieval fortress city (map) a brief drive or ferry journey away from Slot Loevestein. This star-shaped fortress town is ideal for a leisurely stroll and a meal. Issues to do in Woudrichem embrace strolling alongside the fortress partitions, visiting the imposing St. Martinus Church and the historic harbour. There are additionally a number of seashores for a refreshing dip in the summertime!
Within the city centre, I can advocate ‘t Oude Raedthuys (the Previous City Corridor) and Kruiden & Jasmijn for a meal. One other place I can advocate is De Stroming, a stunning waterside restaurant on the historic harbour.
Lower than a 10-minute drive away, within the neighbouring city of Sleeuwijk, you’ll discover one other fabulous harbourside restaurant: Brasserie Boven de Rivieren! If you happen to’re staying the evening, I like to recommend going there for a sundown dinner!
I spent the evening at Hoeve Altena, a stunning B&B simply exterior the centre of Woudrichem. The hosts are completely beautiful and I loved my keep of their Tiny Home!