The Hollandse Waterlinie flows through here.
On our way to “Slot Loevestein” (Loevestein Castle), we got tangled a bit. We circled Zaltbommel Centrum twice, which I didn’t mind really as the place was quite pretty, but alas we couldn’t find the tourist information desk or at least a huge map of the vicinity. Thus, we re-traced our steps and reached the Golden Tulip Hotel who was nice enough to print the direction for us. The attendant told us that the castle is still a 15-minute drive away.
Lesson learned: Write down the directions and do not always trust your memory. The older you get, the more you forget.
Loevestein was built by the knight, Dirc Loef van Horne in 1360. The castle was originally called, “Het steen huis van Loef”, which means - The stone house of Loef, thus it came to be known, Loevestein.
In the Middle Ages and during the 80 years of war with Spain, Loevestein was used as a state prison by William of Orange. “Hugo de Groot” (Hugo the Great) born in Delft during the revolt, and the jurist responsible in laying down the foundation of international law, put this castle in the map during his 2 year exile in one of the towers. He managed to escape in 1621 when he hid inside a wooden book chest that was smuggled out of Loevestein Castle. He then fled to France.
This wooden book chest can be found in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
18th century soldiers - The old man with the shot gun did some trial shots when we were there. I liked the way the soldier in the 3rd foto posed sideways with his sword. And, they look quite funny though in the middle foto, ha-ha.
Slot Loevestein is also part of the “Hollandse Waterlinie”, both the old (late 1600s) and the new (early 1800s). The Hollandse Waterlinie is a military line of water defense with a series of forts that used to protect the country. This water line defense spans from Muiden in North Holland down to Werkendam in Brabant.
The castle is right in the middle of nowhere marshland. In order to get to this bastion, you must have your own private vehicle, or at least a bike, as there is no public transportation that services this area.
They were doing some re-enactment of historical importance of some sort.
The castle is guarded by a moat and the only way to get inside is through the wooden draw bridge... on the second foto you can see the kruittoren -- there is a video player here where you can watch the medieval Dutch movie called 'Floris'.
That is a massive red door (entry to the castle)! The key to this door is big as an axe (maybe a little axe).
More pretty views of the charming medieval citadel. Most Dutch castles are what I call SMC - Small to Medium sized Castles. I took these fotos from higher ground, actually from the dike.
Nowadays, the castle is used as a tourist attraction in the Brabant region, a museum and a multi-function point for children’s parties, weddings, concerts and special fairs.
I did not join the castle tour though - €6.50 fee for adults. When you are with someone who is overdosed with culture and history, you will learn to hoof it wisely.
If the weather cooperates next weekend, and I am in the mood, maybe we visit another castle. This time the Dutchman will have no choice but overindulge in his very own Dutch medieval civilization. So if you are into these enchanting strongholds of the past, do watch this space.
Slot Loevestein is situated in Poederoijen, Zaltbommel (in the south of the Netherlands), about 100 kilometers from Amsterdam.
Visit Period: March 2007
Destination: Poederoijen (Zaltbommel - Gelderland), The Netherlands
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