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.
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