Big houses are fascinating…though not always for the right reasons. I for one would like a bit more living space but I wouldn’t think of getting something like these. I don’t have an ego big enough to fill them.
Castles and palaces though are a different breed. I just lap up the history and spectacle that comes with them. There’s also a certain practicality in how large and imposing they are for the fact that royalty has so much baggage that comes with it, i.e., extended families, having to meet up with serfs, everyone wanting to overthrow you. Over my four years here, I’ve made it a point to cover as many European castles and palaces because growing up all I knew about them came from fairytale books and nursery rhymes, and for me that simply wasn’t good enough.
My first experience with a Dutch castle happened summer two years ago.
Castle Muiden or Muiderslot is a medieval castle just 15 kms southeast of Amsterdam. It dates back to the year 1285. It’s surrounded by the town of Muiden which is quaint and if the boats are any indication, rather wealthy.
As castles go, Muiderslot is on the small side. It has also gone through its highs and lows, having been a prison at some point, but has been renovated to its 17th century glory complete with medieval armor and a surrounding moat, and is now a national museum open for private functions as well as the general public.
It’s certainly a beautiful and well-kept example of the glory days of the Dutch golden age.