A castle built by the knight Dirc Loef van Horne (hence “Loef’s stein” ((stone)) house) between 1357 and 1397.  It was built on the strategically important location on the confluence of the Maas and Waal rivers.

Described by Austin Dobson as ” Loevestein: is at the extremity of an island formed by the junction of the Maas and the Waal. Hugo de Groot or Grotius, 1583-1645, escaped from it in the manner described, 21st March, 1621.”

Escape of Hugo de Groot

During Evelyn’s time, the castle was used to house political prisoners. Evelyn mentions the escape of a famous inmate – the eminent lawyer, poet and politician  Hugo GrotiusHugo was serving a controversially imposed life sentence from 1619 and in 1621 Hugo managed to escape the castle hidden within a book chest.


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