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BEAULIEU

UPDATE SUMMER 2007: On the new picture on the right you can see that the restoration of the outside of the castle is finished. They still have to do the inside and the garden and hopefully the castle will then finally have back the greatness it once had.

It is really an outrage what happened to this castle. As you can see it is currently being restored but the martyrdom it had to undergo before the restorations started is calling for revenge. It is 1654 when Lukas Faydherbe built this castle on the foundations of a 13th century stronghold in renaissance style. The front is decorated with Doric pillars and baroque motives. The assignment to build the castle was given by the ostentatious Lamoraal II, Claude-Francois, Count of Turn en Tassis, Seventh hereditariness Grand Master of the Emperial postal system and husband of Anna Francisca van Hoorn. In 1659 he assigns the famous ornament master Jan Christiaan Hansche to make nine ceiling panels in stucco after paintings of Frans Floris. These paintings portray the heroic acts of Hercules. The English King Willem III makes the castle his headquarters in 1693. The castle is sold in 1697 to Jean-Paul Bombarda, councilor of Maximiliaan Emmanuel of Beieren. The Duke of Marlborough stayed in the castle after the battle of Ramillies ano domine May 25th, 1706. After the death of Bombarba the castle changed hands numerous times. The families, Colins, Grosberg, Romberg, Godin, d'Alcantara en Rittweger own the entire castle for some time. Above the baroque gate you can see the armorial bearings of Count Emmanuel-Jozef d'Alcantara that is surrounded by ten dragonheads. After Emile Rittweger the castle went to his nephew Georges Chevalier. In 1925 he sold the castle to a real estate company, then the shit hit the fan. The guardian Karel Geniets stayed in the castle until 1928 after witch the castle was sold to Braun de ter Meren who started with the demolition of the castle. The right tower was dismantled in 1931 and moved to his castle in Sterrebeek while a pavilion is moved to the castle of Steenokkerzeel. In 1944 Karel Mertens and the society “Friends of Castle Beaulieu” manage to stop the demolition. The castle is hired out and becomes a restaurant which ended up bankrupt. Abandoned and uninhabited the decay sets for good. Slowly the luxurious building turns into an empty shell. Now and then somebody tries to save the castle but it always is denied, mostly because of financial problems. March 11th, 1980 the Provincial governor Roggen signs a deed that turns the castle over to the Belgian State who gives it to the Ministry of Dutch Culture. After all these decades the castle is finally being restored but will it ever get its splendor back? You can find the castle in Machelen.

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