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BOUCHOUT

The earliest remains of the castle of Bouchout goes back to the 12th century. It used to be the property of the mighty Lords of Grainhem – Bouchout. The family van der Marck – Arenberg became owners of the castle and they sold it to the family d’Assonville who turned it into a luxurious residence. It later became property of the family de Roose de Bouchout who admission architect Suys in 1832 to remodel the castle for Count van Beauffort. King Leopold II of Belgium buys the domain in 1879 from the Count van Beauffort and merges it with the castle domain of Meise for his sister Charlotte. Charlotte was for a short period Empress of Mexico. She returns to Belgium after the death of her husband Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. She takes residence in the castle where she becomes slowly insane and she dies in the castle in 1927.
Unfortunately, the castle of Meise was totally destroyed during the Second World War and only the orangery, the castle farm and a number of smaller buildings remain of the original grounds. Also the castle of Bouchout deteriorated after the death of Charlotte. Now it is restored and the thorough restoration was completed in 1988. The castle itself is not open to the public. The castle is however in the middle of the National Botanic Garden Of Belgium. This enormous park is plastered with thousands of plants from all over the world. You can walk around for hours. You can find the domain in Meise. It is along the A12 from Antwerpen to Brussels, take Exit Meise and follow the signs.

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