The most beautiful castles in Belgium
Belgium is a country known for its magnificent architecture. It is said that Belgium has more castles per capita than even France. Moreover, the country's smaller size, makes them easier to visit. Here are 10 of the most beautiful castles that hopefully will inspire your own travels in Belgium.
Most of the structure of the current castle dates from the beginning of the 16th century. In the 19th century the castle was extensively renovated and extended by the famous architect Alphonse Balat in a sober Gothic Revival style. The beautifully decorated interior houses a collection of antique furniture, musical instruments, tapestry, paintings and other art objects. The domain is open to visitors.... view details
Lavaux-Sainte-Anne Castle is a fortified castle that dates back to the 15th century. It is made up of three corner towers and a big round keep; it represents the only example of an Ardenne Castle in an open countryside.
The castle combines Middle Age and Renaissance architecture and is well equipped to resist long enough against an enemy assault. Today, the castle is open to the public and houses three museums.... view details
Het Steen is a medieval fortress in the old city centre of Antwerp, one of Europe's biggest ports. Built after the Viking incursions in the early Middle Ages as the first stone fortress of Antwerp, Het Steen is Antwerp's oldest building and used to be its oldest urban centre.
Previously known as Antwerpen Burcht (fortress), Het Steen gained its current name in around 1520, after significant rebuilding under Charles V. The Dutch word "steen" means "stone", and is used for "fortress" or "castle". The fortress made it possible to control the access to the Scheldt, the river on whose bank it stands. It was used as a prison between 1303 and 1827.
In 1890 Het Steen became the museum of archeology and in 1952 an annex was added to house the museum of Antwerp maritime history, which in 2011 moved to the nearby Museum Aan de Stroom.... view details
Jemeppe Castle originated as a fortified house built here in the early 13th century which was later replaced by Jean d'Ochain with a donjon protected by moats.
At the beginning of the 17th century, Raes d'Ans, lord of Velroux, acquired the property and extended the fortified tower with living quarters into a square castle building. He also added two wings and a double moat. The wings were modernized in 1739 and 1748, and more windows were added. Restoration work was also carried out at the beginning of the 19th century, including on the gallery and the gatehouse next to the donjon.... view details
Bornem Castle, also known as the De Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde Castle is a country house, formerly a castle, standing on the Oude Schelde, a tributary of the river Scheldt.
The earliest fortification on the site was of the 10th or 11th centuries and was intended to defend against the incursions of the Normans. A later castle was built on the foundations of the older building in 1587 by Spanish noblemans.
The present house was built on the same site at the end of the 19th century to plans by Hendrik Beyaert, after the remains of the 16th century building had been demolished. It remains in ownership of the house Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde, the current resident is John de Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde, 14th Earl of Bornem.... view details
Originally built between 1220 and 1230 by William of Brabant, the Castle of Corroy-le-Chateau is one of the best-preserved medieval buildings in Belgium, with gigantic round towers and a moat.
After some eight hundred years in the possession of the descendants of William of Brabant, a family dispute led to a court ordering the sale of the castle at public auction. However, the marquis managed to defeat the sale and retain ownership of his ancestral home.
The castle is open for visits.... view details
Rumbeke Castle is a historical building and one of the oldest Renaissance castles in the country.
Although most of the building was built during the Renaissance period, on the site of a far older fortress, it gained some slightly Neoclassical features after its renovation during the 18th century. During those renovations, the adjacent forest, the Sterrebos or the Star Forest, was added to its grounds. The forest was modelled after the Prater park in Vienna.... view details
The Chateau of Modave, also known as the Chateau des Comtes de Marchin is the most prominent preserved example of High Baroque country-house architecture in the Southern Netherlands and the Prince-Bishopric of Liege.
The oldest part of the building, the donjon, was built by the lords of Modave on a strategic rock high above the valley of the river Hoyoux. In the 17th century Jean-Gaspard-Ferdinand de Marchin, a great military commander, acquired the castle and turned it from a medieval fortress into a luxury Baroque residence.
The castle is open for visitors from April until October and it is also used as a prestigious venue for concerts and receptions. It is unique for its splendidly preserved historic interiors and furniture dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.... view details
The first fortified castle on the site was erected around 1240 to defend the Duchy of Brabant against the County of Flanders. However, this fortress was destroyed by Brussels city troops not long after.
At the beginning of the 16th century the Horne family constructed a brick castle on the ruins of the medieval fortress. In the following centuries the castle was inhabited by several noble families. It obtained its medieval appearance as the result of a renovation during the years 1887-1898.
Since 1980 the castle has been owned by the Flemish Community. The castle contains impressive art collections displayed in lavishly decorated historical rooms. A remarkable collection piece is the authentic testament of the famous painter Peter Paul Rubens The castle and its grounds (a park of 50 hectares) are open to the public.... view details
The Gravensteen is a castle in Ghent originating from the Middle Ages. It was built in 1180 by count Philip of Alsace and was modeled after the crusaders castles that Philip of Alsace encountered while he participated in the second crusade.
The castle served as the seat of the Counts of Flanders until they abandoned it in the 14th century. The castle was then used as a courthouse, a prison and eventually decayed. At one time it even served as a factory.
In 1885 the city of Ghent bought the castle and started a renovation project. The newly built houses around the castle were removed and the walls and keep were restored to their original condition. The castle houses a museum with various torture devices (and a guillotine) that were historically used in Ghent.... view details
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