Amsterdam Castle (in Dutch: Muiderslot) was constructed back in 1296. It remains in excellent condition to this day, and is now open to the public as a tourist attraction. Visiting this stunning castle feels like being in a Game of Thrones episode. Saddle up and Amsterdam Bike Tour will take you into the past whilst also showing you the spectacular present!
Muiden Castle (also known as Amsterdam Castle) is easily accessible from Amsterdam, located just 15 kilometres southeast of the city.
Located at the mouth of the river Vecht, which flows into the IJsselmeer (old name was Zuiderzee) you will undoubtedly experience an unforgettable visit whilst also learning about the history of this medieval Castle.
Let’s head back in time – Utrecht was one of the most important trade towns in the Netherlands in 1280.
Count Floris V
Count Floris V was the first person responsible for the construction of the stone castle. The castle was built for extracting toll payments from passing traders at the mouth of the river, as this was the main trade route to Utrecht back then. In fact, Muiden Castle, which is a national museum (Rijksmuseum), is a small castle of only 32 – 35 meters. Strongly fortified, the thickness of the walls is a sturdy 1.5 meters, and the structure is surrounded by large moats as added defence.
Willem van Mechelen
The castle has witnessed some dark days in its history . In 1296, Count Floris V was killed by Gerard van Velsen after Floris raped his wife. A year later, in 1297, Muiderslot was conquered. It was seized by Willem van Mechelen, who was the archbishop of Utrecht. Three years later, in 1300, the castle was completely demolished.
Rebuilding the castle occurred between 1370-1386. It was carried out by the Duke of Bavaria Albert I. He was the count of Zeeland and Holland.
P.C. Hooft (1581-1647) was an author, poet and historian. Today, his legacy lives on as Amsterdam’s most expensive shopping street is named after him. He spent 39 summers in the castle with friends such as Vondel (from Vondelpark), Huygens and others. These people became known as the Muiderkring (Muidercircle).
Willem Frederik Prince of Oranje Nassau
Following the death of P.C. Hooft, the castle was utilised by the Ministry of Defence. They wanted to demolish it and put it up for sale in 1825 before King Willem Frederik Prince of Oranje Nassau (the first King of Holland) intervened.
The Ministry of Defence offered ownership of the castle to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and people started to realise that this castle should become a monument, a museum, a national treasure.
Architect Pierre Cuypers (who designed the cavernous Amsterdam Central Station and Rijksmuseum) was involved with the castle´s restoration, finally completing it in 1909.
In recent times, Amsterdam Castle with its fortifications was a cornerstone of four water defence lines: Amsterdam (Stelling van Amsterdam) Utrecht Waterline and the Old and New Waterlines.
AMSTERDAM CASTLE TOUR
The Amsterdam Castle Tour, with its stunning sights, picturesque bike ride and medieval history, is a magical experience. In fact, the whole area around Muiden, with small towns like Weesp (which are part of Amsterdam) gives one the impression of being lost in a fairy tale. Our Amsterdam Castle Bike Tour starts in Weesp, offering a ride through wonderful flat Dutch landscapes. Featuring panoramas, authentic windmills, typically Amsterdam canal properties and Volendam-style wooden houses. Weesp boasts pretty bridges over the river that runs through the centre and even a replica of Amsterdam’s Skinny Bridge.
The Amsterdam Castle Bike Tour genuinely provides you with the best of two worlds. The tour will also allow you plenty of photo opportunities for a lifetime of memories. We strive to give you the best of the best – let us show you the undiscovered side of Amsterdam on the Amsterdam Castle by Amsterdam Bike Tour.