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VELTWIJCK

Castle Veltwijck is a water castle that was built in the 16th century. The castle was built in renaissance style and you can find it in the center of the city of Ekeren, where it currently serves as the district house of Ekeren.
On November 3th, 1545 there was a public sale because Anthonio de Mescua and his wife Marie Happaerts were deeply in debt and were no longer able to pay their bills. It is on this day that Aert van Veltwijck, a rich merchant, becomes owner of the castle. He and his wife Catherina van den Eynde move in the castle and their marriage gets blessed with eight children, Gheraert, Pauwels, Aerde, Jaspar, Melchior, Jeronimus, Janne and Katherina. Aert his nephew Gheraert van Veltwijck was an important man, he was secretary for Emperor Karel and was also a well known diplomat. He negotiated with the Turks in 1546. In 1549 he becomes paymaster of the Order van het Gulden Vlies. He was married to Johanne Transilvane and dies in Brussels on January 5th, 1555.
The castle keeps the name Veltwijck throughout the centuries although the family Veltwijck only lived 23 years in the castle. Aert van Veltwijck dies in his castle in 1559. His children refuse to pay off a loan Aert had opened for his nephew Gheraert. Because of this the castle was sold again publicly. Gheraert's widow Johanne Transilvane does the highest bid and she becomes owner of the castle on May 14th 1569. She re-marries with Francois-Prosper de Géneve, lord of Lullin and marshal for the duke of Savoie. After the death of Johanne the castle is no longer used and stays empty for some years.
On April 1st 1615 the castle gets sold publicly for the third time. Gilles Fabry, clerk for the city of Antwerp does the highest bid. Between 1545 and 1929 the castle was always in hands of important families. Baroness de Borrekens buys the castle in 1902 and she builds another floor on the main building in 1905. September 29th, 1929 is the day that the city of Ekeren becomes owner of the castle and it becomes the city hall.
November 3th, 1980 is the first day of the restorations of the castle. These restorations would last fourteen years. The investiture of the restored castle takes place on September 17th, 1994.

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