Loevestein was built around 1368 on a strategically important position and used mainly as a toll collecting point. During the 80-years-war, it served also as a prison with Hugo de Groot being the most famous prisoner. Later, it was transformed into a more modern fortress as part of the waterlinie defense line. Used in several wars, including the napoleonic conquest and WWII, it was given up in 1951. Since then, it is a museum. The castle’s medieval interior has been reconstructed. In the upper halls, changing exhibitons take place, all somehow related to the castle’s history. The chest in which Hugo de Groot escaped can be seen in one of them rooms. Beside the castle, the former soldier digs can be visited. In some of them, old items from Loevestein’s history are shown and its history is explained. One of them was reconstructed back to 18th century standard.
Entry fee is 6,50 EUR for adults (2006), reduced fees are avaibalble for children, students and 65+. All the texts are in dutch, but you can get some plastic cards for your visit where the english version of the text is shown.
Public transportation to Slot Loevestein is a bit of a problem. Even the Dutch public transportation website www.9292ov.nl does not give a solution other than the Regiotaxi which has to be reserved at least one hour before: Tel. 0900-2022385
Either travel to Gorinchem or to Woudrichem by train and bus.
From Gorinchem take a ferry to Slot Loevestein (Tel. 06-51604964). May-September: daily. October-April: weekends. Schedule here
From Woudrichem take a ferry to Slot Loevestein (Tel. 06-51530300). From April-October. The ferry does not run from November-March.
Taking your bike is free.
There’s a ferry from Gorinchem to Loevestein (via Woudrichem). The fee is 1,80 EUR per person, add 50 cents, if you have a bike with you. If you come from Woudrichem, it’s only 1,15 EUR (35 cents for the bike). The ferry goes via Fort Vuren on the way back from Loevestein to Woudrichem. Tickets can be purchased on board.
A little east to the castle, there’s a small boat connecting Loevestein and Woudrichem. It runs during daytime and costs 80 cents only. To use this service, just get onto the boat and pay your fee. If the boat is not there, use the bell to ring for the boat.
There are sure to be some interesting items for you in the museum shop. Postcards, historical books and castle attire and games for children.
Separate from the castle, this tower proved to be a popular object to paint. At least, when I was there, the lawn was awash with artists. Who'd all disappeared once I finished the tour of the castle!
I can imagine the officers being housed here. It does look much newer than the castle, probably 17th, 18th century.
Soldiers and staff were housed outside the castle, which itself served as a prison. There are now galleries, a restaurant and an example of a soldiers digs.
The castle is not very accessible for those with walking disabilities. There are (steep) stairs everywhere and uneven floors.
On the photo is the inner court yard. From there it's stairs and stairs and stairs.