Today was Open Monuments Day in the Netherlands, in which thousands of historical monuments across the country are open to visitors for free. Tony was at basketball this afternoon, so I decided to take the kids out for some cultural enrichment. Somewhat at random, I chose a castle off the list that wasn’t too far away.
We rode the train to the Ruins of Brederode, a wonderful 13th century castle just an hour or so outside of Amsterdam. It’s near Haarlem, actually, or at least that was one of the last stops before the little country train stop where we got off. After a 15 minute walk, we ended up at the entrance of a charming place, a little decrepit for a castle, but very well preserved for a ruin. I am impressed that something made out of brick has lasted so long. It’s not the usual material I think of when it comes to castles.
You can see how excited Axa and Raj were to finally get there.
It was originally built in 1282 when the Lordship of Brederode was created, and the Brederode family figured quite heavily in the next few centuries of Dutch history, through such picturesquely named events as the Hook and Cod Wars and the Revolt of the Cheese and Bread Folk.
It was demolished and rebuilt several times, apparently all out of brick. Here’s a darling little model of one of the incarnations.
One of the most beautiful parts of being a parent is seeing how much your kids love each other. It’s the little things . . .
According to the Bobbles, of course the best part was the stroopwafels at the end.
We had a lovely afternoon, and I recommend the Ruins of Brederode as a delightful day trip from Amsterdam, fun for all ages. We got in free today, but the normal entry cost is only EU3 for adults and EU1.50 for kids. Not sure if they always pass out swords at the door, though.