) is a medieval castle
built by the knight Dirc Loef van Horne
. It was built at a strategic location in the middle of the Netherlands
, where the Maas
rivers come together (just west of current day villages Poederoijen
, in the municipality of Zaltbommel
, in Gelderland
). Originally it was simply a large stone building, used to charge toll
for boats on the rivers. In the 17th century it was expanded into a more modern fortress with earth walls
, two moats
, an arsenal
, and housing for a commander and soldiers. The castle soon became a prison
for political prisoners
. A famous resident was Hugo de Groot (Hugo Grotius
) who was serving out a lifelong sentence since 1619
. In 1621
Hugo de Groot managed to pull off a daring and famous escape in a book-chest.
Until the Second World War Loevestein Castle was part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie, the main Dutch defense line.
Currently the castle is used as a medieval museum.
In Alexandre Dumas, père's The Black Tulip, the main character Cornelius Van Baerle is imprisoned in the Loevestein.