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Slot Loevestein
Poederoijen, the Netherlands
Slot Loevestein
Slot loevestein 1621.jpg
Slot Loevestein (1621)
Slot Loevestein is located in Netherlands
Slot Loevestein
Slot Loevestein
Coordinates 51°48′59″N 5°01′17″E / 51.8164°N 5.0214°E / 51.8164; 5.0214
Type Castle
Site information
Open to
the public
Condition Good
Site history
Built 1361
Built by Dirc Loef van Horne

Loevestein Castle (Slot Loevestein in Dutch) is a medieval castle built by the knight Dirc Loef van Horne (hence "Loef's stein" ((stone)) house) between 1357 and 1397.

Until the Second World War Loevestein Castle was part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie, 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.


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 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. 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 Dutch Water Line.

It changed hands twice between the Northern Dutch and the Spanish: December 9, 1570 it was taken by the Geuzen, ten days later Spanish again, and from June 25, 1572 Dutch till this day. During the time the two countries already had reason to fight as 1568 was when Holland gained freedom from Spain.

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. His wife who also stayed at the castle, got the idea however to hide him in a book chest which they regularly brought to him, and when they were returning the chest Hugo escaped with his wife. one [1] In 1621 Hugo de Groot managed to pull off a daring escape in a book chest. The idea for this escape came from his wife Maria van Reigersberg (also living in the castle).[2] 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 La Tulipe Noire, the main character Cornelius Van Baerle is imprisoned at Loevestein.

See also[edit]




External links[edit]

Monumentenbordje 2014.svg Dutch Rijksmonument 10081