Loevestein Castle (Dutch: Slot Loevestein [ˈslɔt ˈluvəstɛin]) is a medieval castle in the municipality of Zaltbommel, Gelderland, the Netherlands.

Loevestein Castle
Slot Loevestein
Poederoijen, the Netherlands
Slot Loevestein
Slot Loevestein (1621)
Loevestein Castle is located in Netherlands
Loevestein Castle
Loevestein Castle
Coordinates51°48′59″N 5°01′17″E / 51.8164°N 5.0214°E / 51.8164; 5.0214
Site information
Open to
the public
Site history
Built byDirk Loef of Horne

The castle was built by the knight Dirk Loef of Horne (hence "Loef's stein" (stone) house) between 1357 and 1397. Until World War II Loevestein Castle was part of the Hollandic Water Line, the main Dutch defense line that was based on flooding an area of land south and east of the western provinces. Currently the castle is used as a medieval museum and function centre.

History edit

Aerial view of Loevestein Castle.

Loevestein is a water castle that was built between 1357 and 1368. It was built in a strategic location in the middle of the Netherlands, where the Maas and Waal rivers come together (just west of current day villages of Poederoijen and Brakel, in the municipality of Zaltbommel, in Gelderland). At first it was a simple square brick building, used to charge toll from trading vessels using the rivers. By 1372, the castle was under control of the Counts of Holland.[1] In the 16th century (around 1575, orders given by William the Silent) it was expanded to a larger fortress surrounded by earthen fortifications with two (later three) stone bastions on the northern side, two moats, an arsenal, and housing for a commander and soldiers. The Castle was also part of the Hollandic Water Line.

It changed hands twice between the Northern Dutch and the Spanish during the Eighty Years' War: on December 9, 1570, it was taken by the Geuzen; ten days later by the Spanish again; and on June 25, 1572, it was retaken by the Dutch.

From 1619 the castle became a prison for political prisoners. One famous inmate was the eminent lawyer, poet and politician Hugo de Groot (Hugo Grotius) often presented as the "father of modern international law", who was serving a controversially imposed life sentence from 1619. In 1621, his wife Maria van Reigersberch, who was also staying at the castle, hid with him in a book chest that was regularly brought for them.[2][3] He subsequently became the Swedish Ambassador to France for 10 years. Another high-profile inmate was the English Vice-Admiral George Ayscue.

In literature edit

In Alexandre Dumas, père's novel La Tulipe Noire, the main character Cornelius Van Baerle is imprisoned at Loevestein.

See also edit

Gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ "The Middle Ages". Loevenstein Castle. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  2. ^ Murray, John (1838). A hand-book for travellers on the continent: being a guide through Holland, Belgium, Prussia. BIBLIOBAZAAR. pp. 73. ISBN 1-117-07017-4.
  3. ^ Davies, Charles Maurice (2010). History of Holland, from the beginning of the tenth to the end of the Eighteenth Century, Volume 2. General Books. p. 539. ISBN 978-1-151-01164-0.

Literature edit

  • Kransber, D; Mils, H. (1979). Kastelengids van Nederland, Middeleeuwen. Bussum. ISBN 90-228-3856-0.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  • Kalkwiek, K.A.; Schellart, A.I.J.M.; Jansen, H.P.H.; Geudeke, P.W. (1980). Atlas van de Nederlandse kastelen. Alphen aan den Rijn. ISBN 90-218-2477-9.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  • Helsdingen, H.W. van (1966). Gids voor de Nederlandse kastelen en buitenplaatsen. Amsterdam.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  • Tromp, H.M.J. (1979). Kijk op kastelen. Amsterdam. ISBN 90-10-02446-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  • "Loevestein Castle". Holland.com.

External links edit