Clicking on the thumbnails will give you a bigger picture in a new window


GRAVENTOREN

Rupelmonde is just a tiny little village on the banks of the river Schelde but it was very important in the history of Flanders. The riverís Rupel and Schelde unite on the place where Rupelmonde is built. These two rivers where economically very important in times when almost all transport was done over the rivers. So the Earls of Flanders started to build in the 12th century a gigantic water castle to defend both rivers.The enormous castle had 17 towers and you can find an illustration of this castle in the manuscript Flandria Illustrata, written by Sanderus. The archive of the county of Flanders found a safe home in the castle. All passing ships on both rivers had to pay duty to the city of Rupelmonde. Later on the castle was used as a prison. It was here that Robrecht Van Bethune, Earl of Flanders locked up his own son Lodewijk van Nevens because of high treason. It was also here that Zeger van Kortrijk ally of Gwijde van Dampierre was decapitated on order of the King of France. And it was also here that Filips De Goede locked up Frank van Borselen spouse of Jacoba van Beieren. Even Gerardus Mercator (a brilliant philosopher and cartography expert) was locked up here in 1544 for seven months on charges of heresy. The castle was destroyed in 1678 during a furious battle between the Spaniards and the united provinces of France. The castle was never rebuilt but they used a lot of material they found in the ruin of the castle to build other landmarks like the church of Rupelmonde. Baron De Feltz removed the last remains of the ruin and built on the side in 1817 a hunting pavilion. So the tower that you can see on the pictures was built after the castle was destroyed. A visit to the tower is worthwhile, while you climb higher and higher you can find on every floor a multimedia exhibition about the history of the castle, about Mercator and Rupelmonde in general. On top of the tower you have a breathtaking view of both rivers and surrounding landscape. You can also visit some dungeons under the tower.

BACK TO THE PROVINCE EAST FLANDERS