Land of fortresses

Experience the staunch beauty of fortresses, castles and fortified towns!

What is the Gooi & Vecht area’s secret? Why does this area harbour so many fortresses and castles? What was it that needed all this protection? It might be hard to imagine now, but this peaceful part of Holland used to be the ultimate defence line against enemies from the east trying to get to Amsterdam’s riches. That is why the Dutch started building these defences in the Middle Ages. The sturdy Amsterdam Castle (Muiderslot) controled the river Vecht’s estuary, the fortified town of Naarden guarded the only piece of dry land between the South Sea (Zuiderzee) and the lakes. Later the fortresses and fortified towns like Weesp, Muiden and Naarden worked together to keep the entire area safe. Nowadays this peaceful and pretty area does not need all these military forces. But the fortresses, castles and fortified towns are still an essential part of the landscape. They are waiting for you to come and explore them!