We visited St. Bavokerk church, which is open from 10:00 till 17:00 )16:00 in the winter). The church was once a Catholic cathedral, and is built in the Gothic style. The church was originally built in the beginning of the 14th century, but was burnt and rebuilt at the end of the 15th century, and became a cathedral only in 1559. It was converted to a Protestant church in 1578. You’ll find a public toilet by the church, which is always a valuable tip in almost every location…
We drove to the town of Muiden, in the mouth of the Vecht River, not far from Amsterdam. This historical town dates at least as early as the 10th century, when Otto the great, the founder of the Holy Roman Empire, gave it as a present to the Cathedral of Saint Martin in Utrecht. In the beginning of the 12th century Muiden was granted some city rights by Henry the fifth. Today only about 4,000 people reside in the town.
We visited the house of Anne Frank, which is located in Prisengracht 263. This is the house where Anne’s family were hiding from the Nazis, and today hosts an exhibition about the holocaust and another exhibition on the subject of tolerance.
The next morning we went on a trip to Hoorn, a small town 35 Km north of Amsterdam. Hoorn is a historic city, founded way back in the 8th century, and became a city in the 14th century. During Holland golden age Hoorn was one of the six bases of the Dutch East India Company, and today the old harbor is a favorite spot for all kinds of water sports.
Rod Steen, the old city square, is where farmers from the area came to sell their products on the market. It’s a junction of six streets and alleys, and round it you will find old buildings like the town hall (1420), the Waag (1609) and the States College (1632). Today the market is held twice a week.
We visited Radboud Castle, located in east side of the harbor. The castle was built at the end of the 13th century by Floris the 5th, count of Holland, mainly to stop the attacks of the German Frisians. The Count was murdered not long after (1296), and during the centuries the castle was neglected. In 1889 it became property of the crown and was restored to be used as a courthouse. During the second world war the Rijksmuseum hid Rembrandt's painting, “Night Watch” in the castle, before it was moved to a bunker in the dunes.
In the castle there is an exhibition of history of the castle and of Medemblik. You’ll have to climb up a spiral staircase in the wall of the tower to get to it, but it’s worth it. From there you can go down to the prison, or drink a something warm (or cold) in the coffee room of the castle.