Ruin of Brederode

Because we can’t travel outside of our country now corona is flaring up again, we continue finding things to do within our own borders. We had visited Alkmaar and the cheese museum, went back in time on our trip to the Zaanse Schans and now we set out for an old castle, or rather, what was left of it: The ruin of Brederode.

By now, I have made a list of all the beautiful castles in the Netherlands I want to visit and this ruin was the first one we went to. The Castle of Brederode was built at the end of the 13th century, but it got destroyed in 1350 in a struggle about who would become the new count of Holland. It was rebuilt in 1354 but alas, in 1426 the castle got destroyed once more.

The castle has a rich history, of which we learned a lot during our visit. It has been destroyed and rebuilt a couple more times since the 14th century and played an important role in the eighty years war that would result in the Netherlands’ independence from Spain.

We learned the history of castellan Jan van Brederode, and his tragic life because of the poor choices he made. The first chambers of the castle were turned into a little museum, with a exhibition of Brederode in Playmobil, that depicted the Battle of Agincourt with Playmobil figures. Not really my kind of thing, but it was cute, I guess. We did learn a lot about the history and that’s always interesting when visiting buildings such as this one.

There was another exhibition about torture, with various instruments to torture people on display. A few we knew, like the guillotine but there were also some methods of torture we never heard of (Remember the scene with the rats in George Orwell’s 1984? Apparently that was a legitime way to torture people… Yikes!). We found it very interesting.

There’s actually quite some parts left of the castle, so there was plenty to see. After the exhibitions, we had the place to ourselves and just wandered around for a bit, imagining what the castle would have looked like in its glory days.

I’m glad we visited the ruins. If was fun and informative and the castle itself looks really beautiful! I can’t wait to visit more of these. It’s interesting how we explore more of our own country, and get surprised us with the things we find!

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