In days gone by when warfare involved gunpowder, it was clear that keeping your very volatile ammunition outside the castle you were defending was imperative if you didn’t want an enemies lucky shot to blow you to smithereens in rather catastrophic fashion.
So just where do you keep your gunpowder safe and dry for when you need it?
In a specially constructed Gunpowder Tower of course.
Now another small Dutch lesson: “Kruit” means “Gunpowder” and “toren” means Tower, so “Kruittoren” is the Dutch word for Gunpowder Tower.
Even though Slot Loevestein is a rather boxy, rectangular, style of castle, medieval builders clearly also like to build in the round, so this Gunpowder Tower sports the classic fairly-tale style look of a tower.
Inside it’s surprisingly small (naturally the walls must be very thick indeed) and there is sadly little to see because the top floors are closed to the public and in the small lower level room that is open, is empty except for a short film and a table full of leaflets for various places and things on offer in the region.
I would have liked to look at the film but the kids bored quickly and it’s probably better suited to slightly older kids.
One of the pamphlets repeats information also found on the Loevestein website:
“The Kruittoren is one of the two towers that remained following the siege of 1397. The outer bailey was badly damaged during the siege; the other tower was completely destroyed and has never been rebuilt. As its name suggests, the Kruittoren was used as a gunpowder store for many years.”
There are other out-buildings around the castle from centuries past as well. These days they house a museum /shop, cafes and one opens shortly as a Bed and Breakfast… ( I forgot to get a photo of that last one, sorry, anyway apparently it’s a “special occasion” type of B&B, ie Luxurious and pricey)