Naarden is well worth a visit thanks to its remarkable fortress, Naarden-Vesting, on its northwest border. This military work of art has the shape of a 12-pointed star, with arrowheads at each tip. This defence system, one of the best preserved in the country, was – like closing a barn door after the horse has bolted – built only after the Spanish massacred the inhabitants in the 16th century. The bastions were staffed by the Dutch army until the 1920s, long after its strategic importance had become moot.
Today the walled town of Naarden-Vesting is an upmarket enclave with fine restaurants, galleries and antique shops.