Castle Altena, Kruibeke


The castle was built in 1594 to replace an older castle that was burned down ten years earlier. In 1878 the so called water castle was restored and enlarged to a design by Antwerp architect Joseph Schadde. The castle is built up in brick and sandstone. The special style is enlivened by round and eight-edged turrets, cantilevered wall parts and staircases.


At the moment the castle is not protected monument, it was last used as a study and education center by the Catholic order the 'Brothers of Love'. When the last brother left the castle, it was donated to the town of Kruibeke to make it a accessible place for all people of the neighbourhood. The town of Kruibeke also owns the park surrounding the castle. Every year there is a big international festival, free to the public.


You can find the castle and its park at this address: Burchtstraat 11, Kruibeke. 

Eddy Merckx the fastest cyclist in the world


Eddy Merckx, a former Belgian cyclist, is still today the world's fastest cyclist. He was active from 1961 to 1978 and won a total of 525 competitions. He won the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia five times, won all classics several times except Paris Tours.


He also won the Vuelta EspaƱa. He became the world champion both as an amateur and as a professional. He broke the world hour record cycling. In 2011, he received an honorary doctorate at the University of Brussels. He also has reserved the status of Baron by the Royal family.


After his career in cycling, he started his own bicycle company called 'Eddy Merckx'.

Hutsepot

Hutsepot is a typical Flemish, Belgian stew dish. The dish is a combination of all kinds of winter vegetables and chunks of meat, whose choices and proportions are adjusted to the different local recipes, wishes and availability.


It is a dish that is cooked for a long time. It is prepared by yarning the dish for a long time at a low temperature. Traditionally, hutspot is made from tough pieces of meat and tough vegetables that require a long cooking time. Nowadays, the long cooking time is often shortened by using a pressure cooker. The flavor of a stew is getting more intense as the food is kept longer, so it is often advised to cook the stew a day in advance. Hutsepot is not to be confused with hutspot, a Dutch recipe for making mash potatoes with vegetables.