The Egmont castle of Zottegem

The Egmont Castle is a castle in the town of Zottegem, in the north part of Belgium. The castle had a very turbulent history dating all the way back to the 11th century. It is rebuild several times. In the 16th century the castle came into the possession of the Count of Egmont, the Walloon count who was later, in 1584 beheaded on the Grand Place of Brussels by Fernando Álvarez de Toledo. A Spanish general and governor of the Netherlands. His death led to big protests in the Netherlands and has contributed to the start of a resistance against the Spaniards, the occupiers of Belgium at this time.

At the end of the 18th century the castle came into disrepair and was again substantially rebuilt in the 19th century. It is used as a library by the town of Zottegem since 1982. After a big restoration at the end of the 20th century, the castle is also used for civil weddings and special occasions. The Egmont Castle is surrounded by a park consisting of lawns and groups of tall trees.

You can find the castle at this address: Heldenlaan 92, Zottegem, Belgium.

The Euro Space Center of Transinne

The Euro Space Center is a unique leisure and discovery park situated in Transinne, a small town in the Belgian Ardennes. The Center was inaugurated in 1991 and  is based on the US Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. It uses the same advanced equipment and software as the real astronauts training at the Marshall Space Flight Center, which is also located in Huntsville.

The space center also established the Euro Space Society, which is run by Belgian astronaut Dirk Frimout. The society aims to interest a wide audience, mainly young people, for space science and technology.

You can find the space discovery park at this address: Devant les Hêtres 1, 6890 Transinne.

The castle of Vêves

The castle of Vêves is situated in Houyet, a town in the Belgian province of Namur. After a long and eventful history, the castle is now a tangible example of the vibrant way of life in the past centuries. Its also a wonderful example of the military architecture of that time.

The 15th Century castle is build on a grassy hill and with its heavy walls, five-pointed towers and high windows, the building looks like a fairytale castle. Timbered balconies overlook a completely enclosed courtyard. Parts of the interior, such as the huge medieval kitchens are still robust and original, the living quarters are rebuild in a 18th-century style.

The castle is owned by the same family for more than eight centuries now. The family Beaufort, Barons of Celles, handed it over to their descendants, the Counts of Liedekerke-Beaufort Celles.

You can find the castle at this address: Rue de Furfooz 3, Houyet.

The castle of Jemeppe

The castle of Jemeppe, also known as Castle Hargimont, is a castle in Hargimont a little town  in the province of Luxembourg, Belgium. The castle is of medieval origin.

In the Middle Ages the manor of Jemeppe was only a few buildings surrounded by a swamps and the Hédrée river. It offered little or no protection against the ruling families of Namur and Luxembourg, which fought since the twelfth century over control of the territory of Durbuy and La Roche.

Picture by Jack Destexhe
At the beginning of the 13th century a more fortified house was built together with a moats surrounding the castle. Access was only possible through a single bridge and gate The first two floors were used as living quarters, two floors above it were more simple and were used by the staff for storage and as protection for the residents of the estate.

In 1616 the castle was again fortified with a tower making it more square. Also a double moat and a farm were added in the same period. The wings were further modernized between 1739 and 1748 and more windows were added.

Between 1865 and 1875, Adrien de Sauvage-Vercour the new owner,  did some extensive renovations at the castle. He added saddle roofs on the wings and a steep roof on top of the  oldest tower.

Today the castle is used as an event venue and hotel. You can find it at this address: Rue Félix Lefèvre 24, Hargimont, Belgium.