Male Castle was almost entirely rebuilt and restored after the destruction of World War II. It has housed St. Trudo's Abbey since 1954.

The castle's origins date back to the 9th century, as a defensive tower for protection of the territory around Bruges against the Vikings. Male was held by Philip of Alsace, Count of Flanders, between 1168 and 1191, who replaced the wooden structure with one built of stone, which included a chapel consecrated by the exiled archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, in 1166.

The castle was a residence of the Counts of Flanders (in 1329 it was the birthplace of Count Louis II, sometimes known as Louis of Male) but was also a stronghold in a much-disputed terrain. French forces occupied it. The city of Bruges retook it from its French garrison in the uprising of 1302. Soldiers from Ghent razed it in 1382 and after it had been rebuilt, ransacked it again in 1453. In 1473 it was burnt out and once again rebuilt: the present keep dates from that rebuilding, and stands with its foundations directly in the moat, now flanked by symmetrical wings. The castle was plundered yet again in 1490 by the forces of the Count of Nassau.

When Flanders became a part of the Burgundian Netherlands Male retained its importance. During the Spanish occupation of the Low Countries, the citadel was sold in 1558 by Philip II to Juan Lopez Gallo.

It was occupied by German troops in both world wars, and was severely damaged. The castle was comprehensively restored after World War II and since 1954 has accommodated St. Trudo's Abbey, a house of the Canonesses Regular of the Holy Sepulchre.

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Founded: c. 1166
Category: Castles and fortifications in Belgium

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3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Freddy Salembier (9 months ago)
The Counts Castle of Male was the castle of the counts of Flanders. A lot of history of Flanders was laid in and around the castle.
Silvia Koopmans (16 months ago)
Nice lock. With summer bar. Very pricey but good burger with fries
Tijs Synaeve (16 months ago)
Beautiful setting but dog expensive.
Michaël Van Gool (16 months ago)
A summerbar on a amazing location untill the end of August 2021. The castle breathes history! Different acts in the evenings!?
linda schamps (3 years ago)
A special place, a pity that people cannot enter the domain, then I walked a bit on the path, until I saw the sign "forbidden access" hanging on the trees for the third time, then I returned, I could have done some nice pictures take.
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