Castle Rijkel started out modest. The Lords of Rijkel had since the early Middle Ages a comfortable farm with a little moat. It was only in the 16th century that they started to see things bigger. So they decided to turn their farm into a castle. They started to build a tower they added another wing and the living quarters were getting more and more rooms. The Lords Of Rijkel lost interest in the castle after a while, they had plenty of other places in the area and so the castle became neglected. Pierre Antoin Baron de Thiribu bought the castle and commissioned the sheriff of Rijkel to find out how much the castle was damaged. He wrote back that the castle was ruined from the ground up to the second floor. Thiribu started immediately with the restoration and he saw things big so he enlarged the castle again. Maiden Marie was the last in line of the Thiribu lineage. She died in 1831 and with her the last lady of the castle died. This was the start of a dark period for the castle. For one hundred years it was in decline and the complete furnishing disappeared.
The organisation Les Demeures Historiques de Belgique bought the castle in 1936 and it becomes a protected monument in 1942. Demeures Historiques donated the castle in 1965 to the province of Limburg. They started to restore the castle thoroughly after the northwest tower collapsed. You can find now the tourist information centre in the castle. You can also rent bikes at the castle to explore the area. The castle is unfortunately, beside the tourist office, not open to the public. The castle is in Borgloon – Rijkel.