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RENESSE

The family Oostmalle disappears in the 13th century into the family of the mighty lords of Berchem. Willem van Berchem builds in the 15th century a castle on the grounds of Oostmalle. Elisabeth van Berchem marries in 1450 with Wauthier van Hamal a knight from a famous Luiks dynasty. Their daughter marries in 1501 with Frederik van Renesse a lord from Zeeland. The lady from Oostmalle reaches a very high age and survives all her brothers and full cousins and so she inherits the complete fortune of Marie- Madeleine van Hamal duchess of Croy-Soria. This is the start of the golden era of Renesse. Even Karel V and Margareta van Parma stayed in the castle. Later on the lineage would spilt up in two parts and play a big part in history.
The castle is sold in 1830 to count du Bus de Gisignies. His great-granddaughter marries in 1896 count de Renesse Breidbach so with this marriage the castle becomes back property of the Renesse dynasty. The castle was in 1542 destroyed by Maarten van Rossem and it was rebuild three years later. The family du Bus does some minor changes to the castle and it was completely restored shortly after the First World War in neo renaissance style.
In 1967, a devastating tornado struck the village and destroyed big parts of the village and the complete park but the castle itself was spared. Until the castle became property of the village Oostmalle in 1983 the castle was owned by only three families since the Middle Ages the Berchems, the Hamals, the Renesses and for a short period by du Bus.

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