In Oudewater we visited De Waag, where goods were traditionally weighed before sale, but it is better known for its weighing of witches. The first recorded witch trials in the northern Netherlands stem from the 1540s, and de Waag probably acquired the privilege to weigh witches sometime after that. However, since you have to pay for weighing, this was only of use to the wealthy.
|Unsurprisingly, my 190 pounds proved I am not a witch|
Although the coming of Protestantism helped in driving out the belief in witchcraft the last trial in the northern Netherlands was in 1614. But in the year before several dozens of people had been killed during a trial in Roermond. The last official weighing was in 1729 but it is still done for visitors. The museum has a small but engaging exhibition on witchcraft and trials.
From there on to Montfoort where with some luck we ran into the gate of the former castle of Montfoort. The castle was destroyed by the French during one of their attempts to break into the Water Line (oude Hollandse Waterlinie) in 1672.
|A sign showing the castle in the mid 17th century|