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PULHOF

When Madam Christina Jacqueline Ardina Johanna Ackermans passed away at the end of 2003 on the blessed age of 106 she left in her will that her castle and estate would be opened for the public. So the domains went to the Province and they will restore the castle and open the park to the public. What the function of the castle will be is not yet decided.
Not much is known about the early years of castle Pulhof. The oldest mention in a document dates back to the early 14th century when Elisabeth van Hackendonc gives the domain in ground lease to Wouter de Bulle. In 1431 it is Gilles van Pulle that returns the domain to Elisabeth. In those days castle Pulhof is already a summer residence.
It is 1566 when a lottery decides who will become the new owner of the estate. Esquire Maarten van Ranst wins the lottery and becomes together with Thomas Lhermite owner of Pulhof.
During the 80 Years war the castle is burned down on command of Farnese. When Margaretha Van den Berghe becomes owner in 1674 the castle is still a ruin.
During the 18th century the castle belongs to the Gansacker family and later on to the Respani family. Emmauel Van Ertborn buys the domain in 1801. Later on two more families would live in the castle respectively the Werbrouck and Meulenaer families.
Around 1900 it is sold to Ackermans Van Haaren. Henri Ackermans gives Architect Storiau in 1907 the job to remodel the castle. Firstly he suggest to keep the castle and restore and enlarged it but a year later those plans were thrown away and the old castle was demolished and on the foundations a new chateau was erected in Louis XVI style. They kept however the 16th century gate building.
So castle Pulhof is now a Provincial domain and should open for the public soon. When I was there in March 2009 the private property signs were still up. Hopefully those signs will disappear soon so that everybody can enjoy this beautiful chateau and surrounding park.

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