30 best castles of Belgium
Belgium is one of the relatively young states of Europe. It was recognized by other powers of the continent only in the first half of the 19th century. But despite this, the history of the country began in the early Middle Ages. Due to its location on the borders of the spheres of influence of the leading European states – Great Britain, France and Germany, the territory of modern Belgium has always been strategically important.
That is why there are hundreds of castles, built in different times. Today castles of Belgium attract thousands of tourists from all over the world. All the architectural styles typical of Europe from V-VII to XVII centuries have been collected here. In addition to architectural significance, Belgian castles are important monuments of history. They reflect not only the development of a particular country, but also the history of Europe.
The most interesting medieval fortresses of Belgium
List, photos with names and descriptions of ancient castles!
The castle is located near the town of As, in the eastern part of Belgium. The fortress was built at the end of XIV century, but soon became not a defense structure, but the residence of the rich Belgian Lineal dynasty. The castle is surrounded by a park of about 120 hectares, and the inner halls have a collection of paintings and an extensive library with more than 20,000 books.
Chateau of the Counts of Flanders
The first fortifications on the site of the castle in Ghent were built for protection against the Vikings in the IX century. The modern fortress was built in 1180 and has been almost completely preserved in its original form. In the halls of the castle at different times were located mint, court and textile production. After its restoration the castle became a popular attraction. Today there is a museum of justice and arms here.
The modern castle, built in the Renaissance style, was erected at the end of the XIX century and was not a defensive structure. Prior to that, in the XIII century, a fortress was erected on the site of Haasbeck which was destroyed in 1388 by the inhabitants of Brussels. Since 1924 there is a nineteenth-century historical museum, made up of the belongings of the Marquise of Visconti, who lived there. Today the museum is sponsored by Guerlain, so it regularly hosts perfume tastings. The castle is surrounded by a park with a cascade of ponds.
The fortress was built in 1200, in Antwerp, on the river Scheldt. Its main purpose was to control the river. From the 14th to 19th centuries it was used as a prison, and in the mid-19th century a large part of the castle was destroyed to straighten the Scheldt riverbed. In the remaining citadel since the end of the XX century there is a museum of seafaring. Next to the castle there is a monument to the hero of Belgian fairy tales, Long Wapper, who frightens the townspeople, and to Canadian soldiers.
The first fortress was built here in the 13th century. Underground passages and a moat were dug, towers and walls were erected. But later, in the XVII century, the new owner undertook a reconstruction. The fortress was rebuilt into a French-style summer residence. Today there is a museum, where many tapestries, furniture, faience and crystal services are collected. There are gardens and fountains around the castle.
The town of Bouillon is located near the French border. In the XI century the castle of the same name was built here. In 1096, Gottfried of Bouillon sold his lands along with the castle to the church. With the proceeds he went on a crusade to Jerusalem. On the territory of the castle in the XVII century was built church Orval and the brewery with the same name. In summer, there are regular performances with birds of prey.
The fortress was built between the IX and XII centuries, the exact date is unknown. Since its construction, it has belonged to the Lideckerke-Beaufort family. Throughout its history, the castle has been stormed only once. Six round towers adorn the corners of the castle walls, and a large clock is mounted on one of the facades. The halls of the castle contain collections of armor, furniture, and paintings. The corridors are decorated with tapestries and portraits of members of the Lideckerke-Beaufort family.
The first tower of the castle dates back to the XI century. Later walls and other fortifications were built. A famous French revolutionary, Thérèse Tagliène, lived here. In the XVIII century, at her suggestion, in the garden of the fortress was built theater, made in the French style. Later it was restored and operates to this day. In it musical performances are held.
At an altitude of over 100 meters on a rock in the town of Dinan is an impregnable fortress. According to local legend, it was founded in the 4th century by the Emperor of Rome, Constantius II. But according to official data, the citadel was erected in the 11th century. Despite its advantageous location, it has been seized many times. So, during the Second World War, more than 50 French soldiers who were defending the castle and were trapped in the underground gallery were killed here. Nowadays there is a military museum here.
The castle was built in the 12th century and was originally owned by the Teutonic Order. Thousands of people made pilgrimages to the local church with an image of the Virgin Mary, which was considered miraculous. Modern buildings and fortifications were erected in the XVI century, forming a castle complex of 56 hectares. In the XIX century Alden Bisen was abandoned, and in the XX century there was a fire. After reconstruction the castle became a popular attraction and place for cultural events.
Gerald the Devil’s Castle
The castle, built in the 13th century, was built in the Gothic style. On its territory there are many fortifications and a large crypt. The castle got its name from the name and nickname of the owner, Gerald Wilian. Many legends explain his nickname. Some say he was called the Devil for his black hair and swarthy skin. Others claim that he killed five of his wives so that he could remarry without divorce.
The castle on the Maas River was built in the 13th century. From the beginning of the fifteenth century until today, it has belonged to the de Beaufort family. The interior of the castle is varied, in its halls you can find many different styles. There are many exhibits, including a child’s carriage that won a prize at the World Exhibition in Paris. There are French-style gardens and fountains around the castle.
The modern fortifications were erected in the mid-15th century, although there are earlier mentions of the fortress. During the civil and internecine wars on the territory of Belgium, the castle was repeatedly destroyed. Only in the first half of XX century it was restored. Today there is a peasant museum and a nature museum, and a small garden in the courtyard.
The castle was built in the 12th century. It combines architectural elements of Renaissance and Gothic. Since the middle of the XV century, it passed into the possession of the German Arenberg family. During the WWI the owner of the fortress aided the German troops. For that the castle was confiscated in 1921 and sold to a nearby university. It is still the seat of the faculty of the University of Leuven.
The first fortifications here were built by the Celts, before the Roman conquest. The modern buildings, built in the classic Renaissance style, were erected in the XVI-XVII centuries. A deep and wide moat was dug around the castle, giving the impression of the castle being on an island. In the halls there is a collection of ancient tapestries, furniture and ancient geographical maps.
The modern red-brick castle was built in the early 14th century to protect Brussels from attacks from the south. Because of its disadvantageous location on the plain, a wide moat was dug around the small fort and the height of the walls was increased. The main buildings of the castle have survived to this day. Inside the towers and galleries are historical museums.
In the IX century, the Gauls erected fortifications on the site of the modern castle for protection against the Vikings. At the end of XI century the fortress was built. The castle and its courtyard have an almost perfect round shape, which can be seen on the images from the air. Today the castle is surrounded by a moat and a picturesque garden is laid out inside. The château is privately owned by the Mathieu family, so only the museum on the left wing is open to the public.
The exact date when the first fortifications were built is unknown, but from the 14th century the castle became a noble residence. In the Middle Ages it was part of the chain of defense fortresses, defending the city of Ghent. The castle was built of Spanish brick, in the style of the Italian Renaissance. It is surrounded by gardens and a moat. Today, the castle is only open on Sunday afternoons as it is privately owned.
The cliff on which the castle is located was used to build fortifications in the Celtic era and during the Roman conquest. Later, in the 14th century, the foundations left from the ancient buildings were used to build the fortress. Until the twentieth century, Renarsten was repeatedly destroyed and abandoned. But from 1965 to 1970 it was restored by Professor Overloop, who invested most of his money in the restoration.
In the Middle Ages there was a farmhouse here, on the outskirts of Antwerp, surrounded by a moat. It was not until the 16th century that a manor house was built on the site. Until the end of XVII century Sterkhof was abandoned, and later the Jesuits settled there. In the XX century the castle was included in the park Riveerenhof. Later there was a history museum, crafts and silver museums, but since 2014 they have been moved.
The first fortifications in the village of Ekuzin were built in the 12th century, and the present fort dates back to the 13th century. From the sixteenth century, Ekuzin-Lalen has lost its defensive value and was rebuilt into a noble residence. The Gothic chapel was built and the interior style of the castle was changed. Today collections of furniture and porcelain from the 17th and 18th centuries are kept here.
This relatively young mansion was built on the foundations of a sixteenth- and seventeenth-century building near Bruges. Loppem was built in the neo-Gothic style and is well preserved to this day. The castle burned twice, and during World War I it was the home of Belgian headquarters. Its rooms hold collections of paintings, furniture, and stained-glass windows. And around it was laid out a garden with a plant labyrinth.
In the 13th century a small mansion was built near the settlement of Sint-Peters-Rhode. Later it was rebuilt and transformed many times, eventually becoming a fortified castle. The castle is surrounded by parks with canals, streams, ponds, and alleys. The reconstruction of most of the premises is underway. There is a restaurant within the château.
The castle was built in XII century. Its owners were related to the French dynasty of the Capetins, so Corroys-le-Chateau was built using architectural elements of the ancient Louvre. Until 2008, the château belonged to the de Wyandin family and their descendants, but it was later sold due to inheritance disputes. The castle is surrounded by parks and is open during the summer months.
The fortress was erected on the foundations of the ancient fortifications in the X-XI centuries, for protection against attacks of the Normans, on the river Old Scheldt. In the 19th century, under the direction of Henri Beyer, the castle was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. Today, Bornem is privately owned but open to visitors. The halls of the castle contain many engravings and antique furniture, as well as a collection of horse-drawn carriages.
The oldest buildings of the castle were built in the 12th century. In the Middle Ages the castle for several kilometers was surrounded by marshes. Later they were drained and only the donjon, which looks more like a mansion, survived. Inside there is a historical museum with a collection of tapestries and crockery. There are gardens around the castle, and dungeons were dug under it.
In the IX century the first buildings were erected on the territory of the modern castle. Later, Rumbek became the residence of the noble family Tiennes. It was never fortified and was originally built as a residence. Therefore, in XVI-XVII centuries, was repeatedly exposed to the raids of local robbers. There is a park around the castle. Rumbek is also one of the oldest castles made in the Renaissance style.
The first fortifications here were built in the XV century, but in the XVI century, the castle was almost completely destroyed. Only the donjon and the chapel survived. Later Renesse was rebuilt. During the First and Second World Wars it was captured by German troops and partially destroyed. Nowadays there is a historical museum and regular concerts and cultural-historical events are held here.
The present-day castle was built on the site of an ancient fortress, which had existed since the tenth century. In the XV century was reconstructed and most of the modern buildings were built. At the end of XIX century through the moat surrounding the castle, was thrown forged suspension bridge, one of the oldest in Europe and in the world. It survived to this day. There are gardens around the castle and a history museum is organized inside.
The castle was built in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, near the town of Selle, under the direction of architect Edward Milner. After World War II, the Belgian Ministry of Transport set up a children’s sports camp here, but at the end of the 1970s it was closed because of rising costs. Since the end of the twentieth century, Miranda Castle has been abandoned and is in a dilapidated state.
Fabulous castles of Belgium
Belgium is not just a kingdom where the reigning King Philip and Queen Mathilde are revered, but a fairy-tale kingdom. Among Belgium’s countless treasures and riches are its beautiful forests, its river meadows, and its picturesque hills. The kingdom is famous for its ancient palaces and castles, covered with wonderful legends. Some of them are just romantic ruins, others fascinate with the harmony of Renaissance architecture, but each of them is definitely worth a trip from the Belgian capital to see.
The Royal Palace in Brussels
1.7 km from Hotel Amigo
The Royal Palace has to be at the top of your list of attractions: it is the official residence of the King and Queen of Belgium and the office of King Philip, where he exercises his functions as Head of State.
Despite the fact that the King and Queen do not live in the palace, this is where they receive their high-ranking and important guests, heads of state and government and foreign ministers. In the summer there is a rare opportunity to visit the palace with a guided tour. For visitors to the palace this year will open on July 21, the day of the national day of Belgium, and you can visit it until mid-September.
The Royal Palace in Laeken
6.6 km from Hotel Amigo
The Royal Palace in Laeken, designed by renowned Belgian architect Alphonse Balat, is no less important than the capital’s palace as it is home to the royal couple. When planning a visit to the palace, try to make time for a visit to the royal greenhouses. In the famous flower pavilions, they maintain a special temperature regime for the rare plants that grow here. Note that the orangeries are only open to visitors for a few weeks each year during spring.
Alden Chateau Bizen
99 km from Hotel Amigo
The castle owes its appearance to the Teutonic Knights. Built in the 16th century, it is the most important castle of the Loire and Rhine Rivers. Wander the halls and corridors of the ancient castle, be sure to look in the courtyard and visit the small museum dedicated to the history of this wonderful place. Surrounding the castle are delightful French-style gardens, a house church, and a charming orangery.
Chateau de Bouillon
150.5 km from Hotel Amigo
Bouillon Castle, one of the most famous medieval castles, is located in the town of Bouillon in the Belgian province of Luxembourg. Despite the fact that the name first appears in historical documents only in 988, the history of the castle is much longer. The impressive silhouette of the castle looks out over the city from the top of a rocky hill at the picturesque bend of the Semois River.
107 km from Hotel Amigo
The ruins of this ancient castle, abandoned since the 17th century, stand atop a rock in the valley of the Molineux River in the region of Wallonia. Despite its desolation, it is an extremely picturesque and atmospheric sight. The towers, tunnels, and much of the castle walls are well preserved, and the dizzying views of the rivers and forests make it easy to conjure up a glorious time when the castle was full of life.
120 km from Hotel Amigo
According to an old legend, Baudouin, knight of Flanders, “The Iron Arm” and his beloved Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald, escaped to this castle in 862.
The love story made a lot of noise and, after the intervention of the papal throne, the couple were married and Baudouin received the title of Count of Flanders. In addition to this beautiful romantic story, Château Roumbecke with its famous tower can also offer guests a bistro, a themed playground for children and interesting temporary exhibitions.
Groot Beygarden Castle
11 km from Hotel Amigo
A visit to this beautiful Flemish Renaissance castle has to be planned very carefully, as it is only open to the public for one month a year. There are no guided tours, but you can admire the architecture while strolling around the remarkable gardens of 14 hectares. You will be greeted by a romantic atmosphere and a lush riot of color: an abundance of rose bushes, tulips, narcissus, rhododendrons and many other flowers.
We have told you just a few of the great number of Belgian castles. Getting to know them will make your trip special. Discover them during your next stay at Hotel Amigo. Our experienced and knowledgeable concierge will be pleased to customize your itinerary according to your preferences.
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