The area in Sint-Pieters-Rode was in the Middle Ages strategically located near Louvain, which until the mid-14th century was the largest and most important city of the Duchy of Brabant.
In the 13th century the Horst family built a farm, which was fortitied as a moated castle in the the late 1300s by knight Pynnock. The castle was destroyed during the uprising of 1488-1489 against Maximilian of Austria. The castle was rebuilt but demolished again in 1500 and 1587, this time by the Beggars. The 15th century square keep still exists. In the 17th century, the castle was owned by Maria Anna Van den Tympel. She built a new chapel an decorated the ceiling of banqueting hall.
Today Horst Castle is open to the public.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.