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Muiderslot Castle, Muiden: Detail, west tower and central square entry tower
Count Floris V built a stone castle at the mouth of the Vecht river in 1280. The castle was used to enforce a toll on the trade route. It was a relatively small castle, measuring 32 by 35 meters with brick walls well over 1.5 meters thick. A large moat surrounds the castle, accessed by a drawbridge. In 1370, the castle was rebuilt on the same spot based on the same plan, by Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria, who at that time was also the Count of Holland and Zeeland. In the 16th century P.C. Hooft (1581-1647), a famous author, poet and historian took over as sheriff and bailiff for the area (Het Gooiland). For 39 years he spent his summers in the castle, gathering a salon of intellectuals and artists, a group known as the Muiderkring. He created gardens and orchards. The castle has been restored to this period, and is part of the national museum (Rijksmuseum).