Kasteel Radboud

This castle in Medemblik arose in 1288 as a coercive castle for Count Floris V of Holland. The contours of the old castle are still visible. Some parts are still original, such as the floors and foundation beams! Experience the Middle Ages for yourself, visit exhibitions or participate in one of the many activities.



Year built


Restoration architect

Jacobus van Lokhorst

Current architectural style



Count Floris V of Holland

Special feature

West Friesland's last remaining coercive castle

Owned by Monumentenbezit

Since 2016

Wheelchair accessible


Visitor information

The castle is managed by the Radboud Castle Foundation and can be visited through the Museum and the Castle Café. Check the website for current opening hours and activities.

Visiting address:

Oudevaartsgat 8 1671 HM Medemblik

Despite its name, this castle was not built for the Frisian King Radboud. The "House at Medemblick" is one of five castles built by Count Floris V of Holland during the period 1282-1288. The reason it now bears Radboud's name is because Medemblik is considered the seat of the former Frisian kings. It is the oldest city in West Friesland and there is evidence that the Frisians had a fortification here as early as the 7th or 8th century.

The castle in Medemblik originally stood on a square site with a round tower at each corner. The four round corner towers each have their own name: the Bottle Tower to the south, the Mole Tower to the west, the Monk Tower to the north and the Prison Tower to the east. Between the round towers are four square towers. All the towers are connected by a wall. In the courtyard stands the main building, which includes the living quarters of soldiers and castellan. The whole is surrounded by a moat. Remarkably, there are two entrance gates, the Old and the New Gate House.

Toward the end of the 16th century, Medemblik's city walls were improved, and the castle lost its function as a defensive structure. The northern towers and walls were demolished and the moat filled in. The castle was transferred to the city. In the following centuries, the castle receives various functions, but its maintenance is neglected.

In 1857 the Municipal Council of Medemblik planned to demolish the Prison Tower and the Old Gate. Due to the failed potato harvests in the years 1845-1848, prices rose sharply and many residents were in trouble. By demolishing and selling the two towers, the Municipal Council of Medemblik wants to free up money to help the population. King William II does not agree and vetoes it.

A few years later, when there is a shortage of rubble for the reinforcement of the sea dikes, the towers are still demolished. By the end of the 19th century, the castle is an almost unrecognizable ruin. The Empire sees its historical value and takes over the remains for restoration.

In 1882, Medemblik donated the dilapidated castle to the state. According to the city architect of Medemblik, Arnoldus van Wijngaarden, no more than 10 to 15 guilders per year was spent on only the most necessary maintenance.

From 1890, under the watchful eye of Pierre Cuypers and Victor de Stuers, the castle was restored by architect Jacobus van Lokhorst (1844-1906). An amount of 20,000 guilders was available for this purpose. Van Lokhorst was a pupil of Cuypers and worked as a government architect at the Ministry of the Interior's Arts and Sciences department. He opts for a medieval architectural style.

Radboud has undergone many changes over the centuries, resulting from periods of decay, demolition, rebuilding and restoration. It has also changed more than once in terms of its purpose. The Knights' Hall is the largest room in the castle and has served over the centuries as a church hall, concert hall, militia, infirmary and front room of the district court.

With the design Jacobus van Lokhorst, the most extensive renovations were done, in the period 1889-1898. He transformed the neglected, 13th-century moated castle under the direction of Cuypers and De Stuers into a neo-Gothic structure with battlements and pointed arches. For this, he used several historical drawings from both the 16th and 17th centuries as a basis. This means that Van Lokhorst reaches back to different time images. For example, the high church tower from the period 1661-1734 is lowered to the height from the period before.

Starting in 1930, the castle grounds were reconstructed, restoring its former contours. Some thirty years later comes the next renovation. In the rebuilding of the 1960s, architect Jan Holstein (1911-1998) is at the helm. His vision is clearly different from Van Lokhorst's, and he undoes some of the modifications. In the process, Holstein reinforced found building traces in the masonry, added window frames and turned the entrance staircase a quarter turn.

All these renovations make Radboud Castle a fine example of the different restoration views in the Netherlands over the centuries. In 2016, Radboud Castle came into the hands of Monumentenbezit. In 2018, we restored the interior, renewed installations and tackled the shell as a whole.

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