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The ground on which Bokrijk is built belonged to the abbey of Herckenrode until the French revolution. Count Ferdinand de Meeus, son of the first governor of Societé Générale de Belgique was enormous wealthy. He started to build this castle in 1896. It was one of the last big castles built in Belgium in this renaissance style. He didn't enjoy his castle for a long time because it was sold in 1917. The castle was sold and resold again and again until the Province bought the castle in 1938 together with 517 hectares of land.
The domain was turned into an open air heritage park. Where you can find tons of old buildings and rebuild old villages. It's a perfect place to spend a day with the kids to learn them how people lived in 150 to 200 years ago.