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Slot Loevestein and its famous escape

Slot Loevestein and its famous escape

November 2019 · 4 min read · Gelderland

I have visited Slot Loevestein many times as it's one of my favorite places not that far away from my in-laws. Even my family came here a few years ago when they were visiting The Netherlands. It became some kind of tradition for our family.

It's a complex that consists of a main castle, a gunpowder tower and several small houses. There is a shop with souvenirs and a small restaurant as well. It's the most beautiful around the Christmas time as there is an all day performance where volunteers are dressed in medieval clothes, you can try medieval cuisine and there are even knight's fights organized for the small ones. Adults can also enjoy some piano music and singing in the knight's hall.

Our last visit of this castle was in August this year.


The weather was great. It was warm and sunny, so we didn't go inside this time but we spent some time around the castle.


To get to the castle you have to cross a wooden bridge. To be precise, Slot Loevestein is a water castle.

There are water lilies, ducks and swans around...


Here is the proof!


Slot Loevestein was built by the knight Dirc Loef van Horne in 1361 in Gelderland. The castle used to serve as a place where toll was paid and it also had an important strategic role.

In the 17th century the purpose of the castle was changed and it became a state prison for political prisoners. We learned that this is the location of the famous Dutch escape of Hugo De Groot (Hugo Grotius).


When we visited the castle a few years ago we were lucky to come in the middle of the performance about Hugo Grotius and my husband participated as a volunteer. Well, he was kindly asked to participate and didn't want to break the play.

Hugo Grotius was a very well educated man who was sentenced to life in prison. He was a wealthy man and had some privileges even in prison. His wife Maria van Reigersberch was also staying at the castle, on condition that she should remain in it, while his imprisonment lasted. She was allowed to leave the prison for a few hours, twice in every week. He was permitted to borrow books, and to correspond, except on politics, with his friends. A huge chest full of books was delivered to him from time to time.

His wife came up with an idea that he could escape the prison hidden in the chest. And this is how he escaped the prison at the end and fled to France where he became the Swedish Ambassador for 10 years.

She observed the guards and knew that they were not being strictly watched and this is how she came up with the plan 😊 To get the air in he chest, some holes were bored in it and the chest was delivered to Grotius. She then told him about the plan and convinced him to get into the chest and leave her in the prison. The chest was moved into a boat and sent to his friends.


The castle is located where the Meuse and Waal rivers meet. It lies in the middle of a nature reserve full of unique plants and birds. The nature here is truly beautiful and there are many families coming here during weekends for walks.


There are large boats passing by all day. Sometimes I was afraid that they wouldn't fit and would hit the shore as they are so big but the Dutch know what they are doing.


Here we can see that the castle is surrounded by water.


I miss these summer colors!


It's all so picturesque...


Here is one of those boats. The river looks shallow but it must be quite deep.


This is a typical Dutch landscape - water, trees and grass.


One more landscape...

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And some sheep! There are so many of them. They walk around freely and can block your path, so don't be afraid. They wouldn't do you anything. Just don't pay attention to them and continue walking.

There are other animals, such as cows and horses too, so you can't access all path as they are reserved for them.


And this is what I mean 😊 They like to walk on a path 😊

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I hope that you have enjoy our tour of Slot Loevestein.

Thank you for visiting!


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