Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Fortresses, Castles & Palaces in the Nertherlands

Duivenvoorde Castle

Located in Voorschoten, Duivenvoorde Castle has origins stretching back to the 13th century. Substantial 17th-century alteration resulted in the castle obtaining its present appearance, a luxury home surrounded by attractive gardens. A French Baroque garden was added in the 18th century, largely replaced in the 19th with an English country garden. Over eight centuries, the castle was never sold, meaning that it passed down through familial succession from its first recorded owner, Philips van Wassenaer, something that is quite unusual.

Kasteel de Haar

This is largest and perhaps most impressive castle in the Netherlands, one that cultivates a strong fairy tale aesthetic. De Haar Castle in its current form was built in 1892, the work of Dutch architect P.J.H. Cuypers, who designed it in a striking Neo-Gothic style. The castle had several predecessors, however, the oldest of which was a structure dating back to the 13th century. Outside the castle itself are a series of gardens and an area of parkland. The castle remains in the hands of the Van Zuylen family although is open to visitors.

Muiderslot - Muiden Castle

Known in Dutch as Muiderslot, Muiden Castle has a history stretching back to the 13th century, although was largely rebuilt in the 14th. In the 17th century, the castle was a comfortable elite residence, with gardens set out in the latest fashions. It was at this point that the poet and writer P.C. Hooft lived here. In the 19th century, King William I ordered the renovation of the castle, preserving it from total collapse, with the architect Pierre Cuypers giving it its distinctive Neo-Gothic appearance. In 1878 it opened its doors to visitors.

Radboud Castle

Radboud Castle, which is also known as Kasteel Medemblik, started life in the 1280s. Its construction had been ordered by Floris V, Count of Holland, who intended it as one of a series of castles built to help quell rebellion among the West Frisians. Over the course of the Middle Ages, the castle would be attacked or besieged on several occasions but remained standing. In the 16th century the castle fell into ruin, and parts of it were later demolished, but a 19th-century restoration project saw it saved for future generations.

Renswoude Castle

Renswoude Castle marked the location of a fortified house during the Late Middle Ages, but this was demolished in 1654. In its place, Johan van Reede ordered the construction of a new luxury home, built in the Dutch Classical Style. The house was damaged during the Second World War but underwent renovation in the 1960s and 1970s; further restorations followed a devastating 1985 fire. Visits to the house are only available as part of pre-arranged tours, usually held once a month. The landscaped parkland surrounding the house is free to visit.

Royal Palace of Amsterdam

Located on Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam, this national monument is but one of the palaces in the possession of the Dutch Royal House. Constructed during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, when it was intended as a city hall, the building was transformed into a palace by Louis Bonaparte, the King of Holland and brother of French Emperor Napoleon. The Palace of Amsterdam has since become an iconic national symbol and is still used for many state affairs, although visitors are also welcome to explore many of the most important rooms inside this heritage attraction.