Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

1Beersel (Beersel) - one of the most remarkable medieval castles of Flanders. Like most Flemish castles, it is built from red brick, not stone, as is usual in the case of the medieval castles of Wallonia. The flat landscape made the owner of the castle to make a very wide moat and walls, surprisingly high in comparison with other fortifications of Belgium of that period.

Here is his story more ...

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The castle was first mentioned in the 12th century, but today's fortress was built by Godfrey of Hellebeek between 1300 and 1310. The castle suffered during the wars for the inheritance of Brabant (1356/57), but was restored immediately afterwards.

During the uprising against Maximilian of Austria, Beersel supported Maximilian, and the castle was besieged and taken in 1489. It was burned and partially destroyed, but rebuilt after the war.

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The tile roof was added to the towers in the 17th century, but the castle remained unoccupied from the 18th century. It has been used as a cotton factory since 1818.

The possession of the castle was transferred as a result of a series of marriages to the families of the Stalle, Witthem, Arenberg and Merode.Countess Julien Mérode (Guillaume de Henricourt de Grunne, née Merode) handed over the castle to the possession of the League of Friends of the Castle of Beersel in 1928, which restored it. In 1948, the castle was transferred to the Royal Association of Historic Residences of Belgium.

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In the 12-13 centuries of the last millennium, it was a small fort protecting Brussels from opponents from the south. Stone towers did not exist then. On a small piece of land were built walls of logs, and a moat was dug around them. Inside the fortifications, several wooden houses and sheds, dedicated to the placement of the garrison, found their place.

Somewhat later, namely at the end of the 15th century, the fortress was destroyed by the Brussels citizens during the uprising of the lands of Brabant against the rule of Emperor Maximilian of Austria. It is not known for certain how seriously the structure suffered during the hostilities, whether it was completely or partially destroyed, but in 1491 its restoration began, which lasted until 1508. During this period, the fortress acquires a chapel and three massive brick towers. In one of them, a reception hall was arranged, in another a warehouse with weapons and casemates, and on several floors of the third there were living rooms.It is believed that from that moment on, the structure acquires its present form and shape - an ellipse of bricks, on the same arc of which there are three towers at some distance from each other.

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In 847 Bercel is first mentioned in the sources.

In the 1st decade of the 14th century Godfrey von Hellebaek, the seneschal of Brabant, is building the present castle.

In 1356-57 the castle was badly damaged in the war for the Brabant legacy by Louis of Flanders.

In the 2nd half of the 14th century as a result of marriage, the castle departs to Jan II. von Wittem.

In 1391, Jan von Wittem, by then the seneschal of the duchess of Brabant John and her husband Wenceslas, the duke of Brabant, Luxembourg and Limburg, received the rights to manage Brussels and all its surroundings.

In 1405, after the death of Jan II, the castle retires to his youngest son, Heinrich.

In 1404, Henry I inherited Henirius II.

In 1456, Henirius II inherits Henirikh III.

In 1489 during the uprising of Brabant against Emperor Maximilian, Henry III supported the emperor. The castle, which was defended by the son of Heinrich Philip, was besieged twice and on the second attempt was taken and looted by the Brussels citizens. Philip had left the castle by this time. The defense commander, Burgundy Guillaume de Ramilli, was executed on the main square of Brussels.

In 1491, the castle was restored.Modern towers are being built.

In 1517, Henry III dies, his son Philip inherits.

In 1523 Philip dies.

From 1544 the castle loses its meaning.

Photo 6.6

In 1591 Philip's youngest son, Jan, dies. Rod Wittem nipped. The castle departs to his daughter Ernestine, and through her to the dukes von Arnsberg.

At the beginning of the 17th century the lock is put in order. The entrance to the castle is being restored.

By the 18th century. the castle is abandoned and dilapidated.

In 1818, the castle was used as a weaving mill.

In the 2nd quarter of the 19th century castle partially demolished.

In 1928, the restoration of the castle began.

In 1948 the castle was transferred to the ownership of the city of Bersel.

In 2008, new restoration work began.

Photo 7.7

The castle is located on a flat terrain and has no natural protection. It is surrounded by a wide ditch with water.

The castle itself, from which only the core has survived, has in its plan the shape of an ellipse, 42x35 m.

A residential building that existed as early as the 17th century stood near the southern wall. Three horseshoe-shaped towers, with a width of approx. 10 m. In the north tower there are gates with vaulted arches. A bridge leads to them over the moat, the last part of which was a lift.

These towers have residential heated rooms on each floor, one of which played the role of a reception hall.The towers end with a floor that had a shingled tower with a makchiku and loopholes on the outside. The existing bay windows and roofs were lost in the 19th century, the present ones are reconstruction based on old images, as are the battle passages on the curtains between the towers.

Photo 8.8

Access

Beersel Castle is open from 10 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday, from March 1 to November 15, and only on weekends during the rest of the year.
How to get there

The castle is located in the village of Beersel, a few kilometers south-west of Brussels in the direction of Halle. It is easily accessible by train from Brussels (22 minutes from the Brussels-Luxembourg station, 30 minutes from the Brussels-South station).

By car, Beersel is right behind the ring (E19), exit 19 for Beersel.

Photo 9.9

But an interesting photo without water!

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  • Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

    Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

    Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

    Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

    Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

    Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

    Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

    Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

    Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

    Castles of Belgium: Bercel (Castle Beersel)

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