Land of fortresses

Experience the fortresses, castles and fortified towns in Gooi & Vecht

Why does the Gooi & Vecht area hold so many fortresses and castles? What were these structures protecting?

Nowadays it might be hard to imagine, but this peaceful part of Holland was once used as the ultimate defence line against enemies from the east trying to get to Amsterdam’s riches. Most of these structures were build 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. Although these military structures are no longer needed to protect, they still form an essential element within the Gooi & Vecht landscape.

Want to already explore Gooi & Vecht before you get here? Get inspired and plan your visit at