Merode Castle

Kasteel de Merode

Merode Castle, locally known as Kasteel de Merode or Kasteel van Westerlo, lies in the town of Westerlo, in the province of Antwerp in the Flemish region in Belgium.

Merode Castle dates back to the beginning of the 14th century when the rectangular keep was built with walls of up to 2.75 m thick. There may have been a building here before that time; a Frankish villa of even a Roman castrum or watchtower, as the location is strategic; a swampy  area next to the Grote Nete river near a convergance of 2 Roman roads.

The first owners were the Lords of Wezemaal. Through marriage it passed to Richard I, Count of Merode, around 1361.

During the 16th century the De Merode's prospered and enlarged their castle giving it its present shape. In 1583, however, several rebellious nobles from the Spanish Netherlands had sought refuge in Merode Castle. This led to a siege by Spanish troops led by Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma. The Spaniards only managed to take the castle after draining the swamps around it.

In the 17th century the De Merode family restored their castle, teared down dilapidated parts and layed out French gardens around it. In the mid-19th century another thorough restoration followed giving the castle its present appearance. The De Merode family still owns and inhabits the castle to this day.

At present Merode Castle is a private residence. In can only be visited on certain cultural occasions. Hopefully I will be able to visit one day. A very nice castle.


Gallery

Merode Castle

Kasteel de Merode

Merode Castle, locally known as Kasteel de Merode or Kasteel van Westerlo, lies in the town of Westerlo, in the province of Antwerp in the Flemish region in Belgium.

Merode Castle dates back to the beginning of the 14th century when the rectangular keep was built with walls of up to 2.75 m thick. There may have been a building here before that time; a Frankish villa of even a Roman castrum or watchtower, as the location is strategic; a swampy  area next to the Grote Nete river near a convergance of 2 Roman roads.

The first owners were the Lords of Wezemaal. Through marriage it passed to Richard I, Count of Merode, around 1361.

During the 16th century the De Merode's prospered and enlarged their castle giving it its present shape. In 1583, however, several rebellious nobles from the Spanish Netherlands had sought refuge in Merode Castle. This led to a siege by Spanish troops led by Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma. The Spaniards only managed to take the castle after draining the swamps around it.

In the 17th century the De Merode family restored their castle, teared down dilapidated parts and layed out French gardens around it. In the mid-19th century another thorough restoration followed giving the castle its present appearance. The De Merode family still owns and inhabits the castle to this day.

At present Merode Castle is a private residence. In can only be visited on certain cultural occasions. Hopefully I will be able to visit one day. A very nice castle.


Gallery