Radboud Castle (Kasteel Radboud)

Radboud Castle



Location: Medemblik, North Holland  Map

Constructed: 1288 by Count Floris V

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Description of Radboud Castle

Radboud Castle is a medieval castle situated in a town of Medemblik, North Holland region of Netherlands. Radboud Castle is also known as Medemblik Castle due to its geographic location. Some local legends claim that the first defenses were constructed in the 8th century AD by Frisian king Radboud who moved his official residence here. Current fortress was constructed in 1288 by Count Floris V of Holland. Unfortunately for him it did not save him from quarrel with the bishop and other nobles. He was killed in 1296 by assassins. In the 17th century Radboud citadel lost much of its military importance. Its Great Hall was turned into a Christian Church. Square tower of the fortress served as a bell tower.


Medemblik or Radboud Castle stands on the east side of the harbor of the North Holland city of Medemblik. The castle dates from 1288.

Castle Medemblik is one of the many castles in the province of Noord-Holland, which was built partly on behalf of Floris V. The castle was a so-called forced fortress because Floris did not only want to erect a dam against the frequent infiltrations in his area by the Frisians, but also have support points where he could control the newly subjugated West Frisians. See: History of West Friesland. Medemblik Castle is also called Radboud Castle, because according to legend it was built on the foundations of the castle of King Radboud of the Frisians, who according to the Divisional Chronicle (1517) of Cornelius Aurelius would have had his royal residence in Medemblik.

Originally the castle had broadly the same floor plan as the Muiderslot. Two living wings, two square towers and a round corner tower remain. The rest has disappeared over the centuries, only the contours are still visible.

During the Second Siege of Medemblik in 1517 the castle was besieged by the Frisian rebel armies of Pier Gerlofs Donia and Wijerd Jelckama.

After 1578 city walls were built and the castle lost its function as a defense and refuge; it fell into disrepair. A noble family has never lived in the castle. Restorations were carried out from 1890 to 1897, under the direction of P.J.H.Cuypers. Radboud Castle was owned by the Dutch state from 1889 to January 15, 2016, and then fell under the Government Buildings Agency. The monument was transferred to the National Monument Organization on January 15, 2016.

Rembrandt's painting The Night Watch was temporarily brought to safety here on 4 September 1939, before it moved to a bunker in the dunes near Castricum in May 1940.