3 Muiderslot - Amsterdam Castle
This castle is one of the most beautiful ones in The Netherlands. Build around 1296, it was used by count Floris 5 who started his rule at the age of 12. His father was killed by revolting peasants from the part of the country where I grew up. It was hard to fight war in this part of the country because most of it was swamp/wet lands. The body was hidden somewhere under the fire pit of a farm. Floris 5 spend a large part of his live avenging this deed and trying to regain the body.
Floris 5 understood he needed to control his lands and made roads and dykes to get rid off some of the water, this helped developed the area, but also helped him gain control of his territory to prevent future issues.
Floris 5 also build a special castle in the north to ensure his power up there, very close to where my family still lives.
At the end of his rule he was beloved by his peasants, but killed by competing nobles near the castle.
Most likely this was inspired by the conflict between England and France. For long Floris supported England, but when he switched sides for political reasons, England banned all trade with his territories and made a plan to kidnap him.
A few hundred years later, in the Golden Age of The Netherlands, various famous poets and writers were guests of the owner in those days, spending time in the Muiderslot.
From the higher levels of the castle you have an amazing view of the Ijsselmeer (big lake) and surrounding area.
The 17th century style plum garden and herb garden are worth seeing too.
At the moment the castle is promoted as Amsterdam Castle, its not actually in Amsterdam, but it is close enough and easy to reach.
Everyone I took to see it, enjoyed the experience a lot.
Bonus: this place is really close to Naarden-Vesting.
Het Muiderslot including the gardens
The murder of Floris V father, Willem 2. He was killed by the Westfrisians when his horse fell through the ice.