Ribaucourt castle was built originally in the 12th century, but it was just a fortitied wooden tower. The lords of Perk expanded the castle and it was in possession of several South Brabant noble families. During the French occupation in 1809 the French officer Pieter Bounder of Melsbroek bought the castle. He sold the castle in 1833 to Count Prosper Christyn de Ribaucourt, senator of Dendermonde. The current Count Daniël de Ribaucourt is still Lord of Perk.
The castle is considered as one of the most beautiful of the Brussels area. It counts more than 200 rooms and was modernized by it owners throughout the centuries. The current castle largely dates back to the 17th, 18 and 19th century. The park is 90ha and consists of meadows, forest and ponds. It is a real nature and bird sanctuary.
The castle is private domain but you can view it from the public road and on rare locations there are walks organized in the park.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.