The Cleydael castle in Aartselaar

In the Antwerp District of Aartselaar, you can find the remarkable Cleydael Castle. The castle was originally a feudal medieval moated castle, situated on an island formed by two branches of the Struisbeek. It has a square plan with four wings around a courtyard. At each corner, it has a tower, each one different in shape, whereby both of the eastern towers have been building bigger and heavier. Each tower has its own name.

Picture by Harry Fabel

The western towers are called the Tower of Owls and the Cats Tower, the northeast tower is called the Fox Tower, while the southeast tower is called the Chapel Tower. The Fox Tower is square in shape and is provided with an onion-shaped striker. This tower has walls that are more than a meter thick. The Chapel Tower is so named because it contains a chapel with a stellar vault. The foundation of the castle dates back to 1350, the remaining parts date from the 16th and 17th centuries and are made of brick, probably originating from the immediate vicinity of the castle.

Picture by Harry Fabel

The Nederhof belonging to the castle is a trapezoidal building and was originally entirely surrounded by canals. The east side of the property is only accessible by a drawbridge to the entrance gate. The building next to the entrance was the home of the bailiff, later this was the home of the gamekeeper. On the west side of the "Nederhof" is a square tower flanked by barns, stables, and a brewery. The whole forms a picturesque building complex in Brabant brick and sandstone architecture. The castle is private property and not open to the public. It is however for rent for special occasions.

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