a daytrip to the castle of Loevestein

Woudrichem Travel Blog

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Woudrichem

 

On a nice day in april we decided to go visit the beautiful castle of "Loevestein". The best way to get to Loevestein is across the water! So we took the ferry from the beautiful village of Woudrichem to the castle.

Castle Loevestein is a medieval castle built by the knight Dirc Loef van Horne (hence "Loef's stein" ((stone)) house) in 1361. 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 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.

Woudrichem
In the 16th century it was expanded to a larger fortress surrounded by earthen fortifications, two moats, an arsenal, and housing for a commander and soldiers. It changed hands twice between the Northern Dutch and the Spanish, the warring parties of the day. The castle soon 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 Hugo de Groot managed to pull off a daring escape in a book chest. He subsequently became the Swedish Ambassador to France for 10 years. Another high profile inmate was the English Vice-Admiral George Ayscue.

Until the Second World War Loevestein Castle was part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie, the main Dutch defense line that was based on flooding the land south of the western provinces. Currently the castle is used as a medieval museum.

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Woudrichem
Woudrichem
Woudrichem
Woudrichem
Woudrichem
Woudrichem
entrance of Woudrichem
entrance of Woudrichem
windmill in Woudrichem
windmill in Woudrichem
Woudrichem
Woudrichem
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein
the bookchest of Hugo Grotius(Hugo…
the bookchest of Hugo Grotius(Hug…
harbour of Woudrichem
harbour of Woudrichem
Woudrichem
photo by: polvandenwirre