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Castle Cleydael borrows its name from the clay that was found in this area. Above the entrance door you can read the slogan ex valle pinguedo or in English clay from the valley. Cleydael is a square water castle and is completely surrounded by a moat. The four towers are called Fox tower, Chapel tower, Owl tower and Cat tower. The family Sanders of Hemiksem commissioned to build a Fox tower and so in the 14th century the first contours of this castle became visible . Throughout the next centuries more and more parts were build until we have the castle we still can admire now. Lots of famous people stayed in the castle, like Cromwell and the Duke Of Alva to name a few. There is a golf club in the buildings surrounding the castle. You can find the castle when you drive from Antwerp to Boom via the A12. Take the exit Hemiksem (at the McDonalds) and after a few hundred meters you will see the castle on your right. Beware, you are not allowed to take pictures of this castle!
Legend says that the moat was the home of a serpent with nine eyes of silver who kept an eye on the safety of the castle. One of the owners, Cornelis Sanders lost also his head here because he supported Jacoba van Beieren against Filips de Goede. The following families owned the castle throughout history, Sanders van Hemessem, Cleydael, van der Elst, del Rio, Hooftman and Hellemans.