The Star Shaped Fort of Naarden Vesting, The Netherlands

I live in Holland and there are so many great places here that I’ve never visited. That is why today I went to the fort of Naarden Vesting. It is a great structure, a fort build in a star shape.

In the old times it was a great fort that seemed undefeatable. It has a history that goes back to the 9th century. But the name Naarden got his city law around 1300. On 1 december 1572 the city was attacked by the Spanish. They opened the city gates for them because they were scared that they would be punished harsh when they didn’t. Once inside the Spanish went to the cityhall, now known as Spanish House, and murdered 700 citizens of Naarden, women and children too. It is now known as the Masacre of Naarden. In the front of the house there is a image that resembles that masacre.

Left building is the Spanish House
Masacre of Naarden

The old City Hall is also a great building! It is located in the centre on the opposite sideof the street near the old church.

City Hall

The fort has great gates, we visited one. We visited the ‘Utrechtse Poort’. In that gate is also the VVV, that is a bureau for tourists, on the right side. And on the left side information and pictures about the fort and other forts in Holland. Really worth a visit. The explanation is also written in English.

Utrechtse Poort
VVV, information centre, on the right side
Utrechtse Poort seen from outside the city

We also went to the Netherlands Fortress Museum:Nederlands Vestingmuseum.The Museum was established in 1955 in the Turfpoort Bastion, one of the six bastions that give the walled city its distinctive star shape.

Nederlands Vesting Museum

It’s a great oppurtunity to walk on the wall and still see the canons pointed to the outside, ready to shoot 🙂
You can also go into the basements. There are several exhibitions located in those basements. There are still canons situated in there and you can see how the people lived in there. We saw a film about the  waterline in Holland. Holland used to have that as a defence line. If there was a threat of an enemy they would open the gates and let the water out over land, the water float out to be a couple of meters till a couple of km’s wide. It was to deep to walk with a horse and cartridge but not deep enough to sail with a boat on it. So the enemy couldn’t cross it. They had this plan, and were still building this untill the 1950, while the cold war could be a threat. You can play this film in several languages, French – German – English and Dutch.

After walking the museum grounds for a while we took a walk around the city of Naarden Vesting. It’s a walk of 3,5 km and it takes about an hour. It is a really nice walk, you can walk on the inside, on the walls and bastions but you can also walk on the outside and get some really nice views on the city walls and the churchtower. The last walk we did.

The wall of the star shaped fort of Naarden Vesting
Walking on the outside of the Fort
You can rent  a canoe to go around the fort

If you look in the area surrounding the fort you see all kinds of bunkers, also called Kazemat.

The weather wasn’t that great but it wasn’t raining all day. Well it is The Netherlands….so what can you expect 🙂

More information about this great structure you can find on: Wikipedia or here about the history of Naarden.

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