Return journey to 17th century

This is what I wrote for my blog assignment

By Galuh – Again, I checked the Netherlands’ public transport site. It was a gloomy morning, yet it did not stop me rushing to the bus station for my first time visit a medieval castle.

The castle was built in 1370 by Albrecht, a duke of Bavaria (Photo by Galuh)
Muiderslot was built in 1370 by Albrecht, a duke of Bavaria (Photo by Galuh)

Muiderslot is a castle from the middle ages in Muiden, a town about 15 km southeast of Amsterdam. After a 20 minute’s walk from the station, the sun finally shined. Then I saw a castle beautifully located by the river, stood in its glory.

Inner child
Inside, little girls running around in princess dresses while the boys playing knights with their wooden swords. In all three towers, I discovered the castle’s history, from its owners to roles through fun interactive games and hidden missions. I was ecstatic and let my inner child loose.

It is rare to find crowds like this in Indonesia's museums
It is rare to find crowds like this in Indonesia’s museums (Photo by Galuh)

Former expectations
Have I mentioned that Muiderslot is a museum? Aha! I knew that word would turn you off. At least that what I feel, or felt.

The Netherlands has almost 500 museums and to date, I have seen two. My former expectations of boring displays, musty odor rooms and dusty artifacts have changed, proofs Netherlands Museum Association have been doing their job. They know that history and education should be fun, not bored you to sleep.

“History is who we are and why we are the way we are”, David McCullough

Rich in history
Indonesia, country where I was born and raised, is rich with history. Late Prof. Arysio Santos says in his book that Indonesia is the heart of Atlantis. Krakatoa eruption in 1883 is considered the loudest sound ever heard in modern history. Yet, I knew the latter from Google, not a museum.

Interactive game can be found in most of the castle's rooms
Interactive games are in most of the castle’s rooms (Photo by Galuh)

While I was enjoying my ice cream in the castle’s garden, I had a bit of guilt of knowing more of its story than an ancient palace back home. But again, most are abandoned, hoping to get noticed by local government. The question is: when?

Galuh Wulandari is an editor for JOY, a lifestyle magazine in Indonesia. She is now in the Netherlands, captures what she sees in her blog and no longer cringes with the word ‘museum’.


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