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This big castle is located in the small village Oud-Rekem that was nominated as the most beautiful village in Flanders.
Arnold van Rekem is the first known Lord of Rekem in 1108. During the wars of Loon between 1336 & 1366 Rekem became a barony. In the meanwhile the old stronghold was in shambles and Herman d'Aspermont-Lynden remodeled the old castle into a new residential chateau between 1596 & 1597. The barony Rekem was in 1623 promoted to Imperial county. It became even a mini kingdom with its own money, tollhouse and army.
City walls were built with five town gates, a baroque church, three monasteries and in the middle of it all the prestigious palace like castle. The d'Aspremont Lynden family stayed in the castle until 1794. Then the French revolution came by and put an end to the feudal system.
After the revolution the castle was used for all kind of things. In 1809 it was a work place of an mendicant order. Between 1891 and 1920 it was used as a refugee house. After that it became a psychiatric hospital until 1980.
In 1992 the castle became property of the NV Rekem.
Because of all the function it had throughout the last decades the castle was severally damaged. As you can see from the pictures from the inside, the castle is completely stripped from anything valuable. It is basically an empty shell. The most damaged was done in 1875 when all the remains of the old castle were demolish and several towers were torn down. The castle and domain are usually not open for visits. When I was there some art project was going on inside the castle. It can also be visited as part of the town tour with a guide.
I have more pictures of the castle HERE