|Poederoijen, the Netherlands|
Slot Loevestein (1621)
|Built by||Dirc Loef van Horne|
Loevestein Castle (Dutch: Slot Loevestein) 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 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.
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 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 Reigersberg, who was also staying at the castle, hid with him in a book chest that was regularly brought for them. He subsequently became the Swedish Ambassador to France for 10 years. Another high-profile inmate was the English Vice-Admiral George Ayscue.
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|Dutch Rijksmonument 10081|