The castle of Beersel

The castle of Beersel, a water castle, is one of the few, well-preserved examples of medieval architecture in Belgium. It still looks like it looked at the end of the 15th century. Over the centuries this castle has a very moving history. As a visitor you will experience immediately how people lived in a medieval, fortified castle.

In the 19th century the castle was restored with an almost perfect historical responsibility. In 1928 Count and Countess Guillaume Hemicourt decided to grant the Castle to the "Friends of the Beersel Castle". The castle has been owned by the Royal Association of Historic Residences and Gardens of Belgium since 1948, which makes it available to the municipality of Beersel.

You can find the castle at this address: Lotsestraat 65, Beersel.

Castle Vogelsanck

The history of the castle dates back to 1187 when there was already a hunting area of ​​the dukes of Loon. It is not clear whether this was a large manor farm or there was already a fortified castle.

The oldest part of the building is derived from a 14th century iron sandstone donation. In 1422 a fortified wing was added to the castle tower and it was completely converted to a castle by the then castle lord 'Hendrik from Bastogne'. Around 1440 there was also a chapel in the east wing.

From 1637, the existing castle was once again enlarged by 'Ferdinand of In and Kniphausen', the then castle lord. The extensions were mainly done on the southern wing in Maaslandse renaissance style. This wing was also provided with a floor. On the tower base, a new tower was built in the same style.

In 1756 'Jean-Ignace de Villenfagne' rebuilt the castle into a simple Louis XV style. The east and west wing were provided with a floor and the east wing has a rococonvertron. A castle farm was built near the castle.

In 1875 'Jules de Villenfagne' inherited the castle. He was married to Irish Countess 'Camille Preston'. She again changed the castle and the park thoroughly. The southwestern facade and gate building were built in neo-tudor style. She also replaced the French garden by an English garden that became much bigger. An island was built in the large pond. Many of the original plantations are still present in the park, which now has an area of 5 hectares.

The domain around the castle exceeded 1000 hectares at the end of the 18th century, 450 hectares still remain a private domain. The remaining part is open to the public.

You can find the castle and its gardens at this address: Kasteeldreef 1, Heusden-Zolder.

The horse shrimp fishers of Oostduinkerke

The shrimp fishery, both horse and foot, is practiced at low tide for about 2 to 3 hours. The horse fisher in yellow oil checker and high boots sits in a wooden saddle on his horse that draws the heavy garland mesh. The horses step to the chest in the water. In the past, mostly tough mules were used, which were mostly known for their stamina. Nowadays, the fishermen use a bunch of draft horses of the Brabant or Ardens breed. These calm and strong animals are excellent for doing the hard work.

The horses fishermen, sitting high on their rugged farm horses when they plow through the waves. Occasionally horse and fisherman get on the dry to pour the contents of the net into the grains attached to either side of the horse.

Since December 4, 2013, the shrimp fishery in Oostduinkerke, at the Belgian coast, is added to the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.