Schoonhoven has a long history as a fortified city. Its first defence works date back to the 14th century. Part of the moat is still intact, as is a section of the city wall and the outline of a defence tower. When the walls proved unable to withstand cannon fire, earthen ramparts were built with bastions and a moat. The old barracks now serve as the Silver Museum. Schoonhoven is known for its gold and silversmiths.