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In the 9th century a wooden structure surrounded by a moat was erected to protect Brugge against the Vikings. In the 12th century a stone castle was first erected by Count Philip van den Elzas. At the same time it became a center of government. The Counts of Flanders made the castle their residence from the 13th until the 15th century. 1515 the castle saw the last imperial inauguration of Charles V, which marked the end of Male's role in political activities. Male became a private property and was a Barony until the French revolution. After that it changed hands several times and it was a state of disrepair. Requisitioned during both world wars, Male was left in ruinous condition by occupying armed forces. Baron Guido Gilles de Pelichy placed the castle at the disposal of the abbey of St. Trudo and thus a new chapter began for the ancient castle as an abbey. The St. Trudo sisters joined the order of the Holy Sepulchre and moved into the castle in 1954. At the same time the restorations started and they were finished 20 years later.
The castle is now a safe haven and you can visit the knights' hall and the chapel. In addition, you can stay at the abbey if you are looking for some quiet time. Male is about 5km from Brugge.
(The middle picture is scanned from a postcard)