Alden Biesen Castle

Rijkhoven, Belgium

The knights of the Teutonic Order originally founded the Alden Biesen commandery in the 11th century, but the current buildings were constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries. It was the headquarters of a bailiwick or province of the Teutonic Order in the region of the Maas and Rhine. On 8 March 1971 the building burnt down and was acquired by the government and restored. In addition to the moated castle, the complex contains a church and gardens.

The castle is used today as a cultural centre and conference centre. Festivals such as the Scottish weekend or the International Story Festival are held there.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 16th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Belgium

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martijn Tobbackx (2 years ago)
Beautiful historical site. Clean and tidy place
Yolanda Santana (2 years ago)
The floral masters yearly event. My daughter is a master European designer.
Bob Jackson (2 years ago)
Fleurameur floral exhibition.... Very much enjoyed. Inspiring, educational and beautiful designs and creative concepts. So much more than expected.
Sophie's Foodie Files (2 years ago)
The Grand Commandery is founded in 1220 by the German Order of the Teutonic Knights. It is a big domain owned now by Flanders, our Flemish part of Belgium! You can visit the castle with a guide if you like. The domain outside is big & beautiful. On the inside of the grounds , there is also a good visitor information centre & free toilets. There are many walks that begin in the grounds of the castle. We walked one. The castle & grounds are all very well kept & preserved. Worth a day visit! Often, there are events in the day or evenings! There is also an apostelhuis, a lovely restaurant.
Liam Schurmans (2 years ago)
It's so beautiful and peaceful and perfect for a long evening or morning walk. Bilzen Mysteries is also very nice.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cochem Castle

The original Cochem Castle, perched prominently on a hill above the Moselle River, served to collect tolls from passing ships. Modern research dates its origins to around 1100. Before its destruction by the French in 1689, the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.

In 1151 King Konrad III ended a dispute over who should inherit Cochem Castle by laying siege to it and taking possession of it himself. That same year it became an official Imperial Castle (Reichsburg) subject to imperial authority. In 1282 it was Habsburg King Rudolf’s turn, when he conquered the Reichsburg Cochem and took it over. But just 12 years later, in 1294, the newest owner, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle, the town of Cochem and the surrounding region in order to finance his coronation. Adolf’s successor, Albrecht I, was unable to redeem the pledge and was forced to grant the castle to the archbishop in nearby Trier and the Electorate of Trier, which then administered the Reichsburg continuously, except for a brief interruption when Trier’s Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had to pawn the castle to a countess. But he got it back a year later.

The Electorate of Trier and its nobility became wealthy and powerful in large part due to the income from Cochem Castle and the rights to shipping tolls on the Moselle. Not until 1419 did the castle and its tolls come under the administration of civil bailiffs (Amtsmänner). While under the control of the bishops and electors in Trier from the 14th to the 16th century, the castle was expanded several times.

In 1688 the French invaded the Rhine and Moselle regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the Reichsburg and then laid waste not only to the castle but also to Cochem and most of the other surrounding towns in a scorched-earth campaign. Between that time and the Congress of Vienna, the Palatinate and Cochem went back and forth between France and Prussia. In 1815 the western Palatinate and Cochem finally became part of Prussia once and for all.

Louis Jacques Ravené (1823-1879) did not live to see the completion of his renovated castle, but it was completed by his son Louis Auguste Ravené (1866-1944). Louis Auguste was only two years old when construction work at the old ruins above Cochem began in 1868, but most of the new castle took shape from 1874 to 1877, based on designs by Berlin architects. After the death of his father in 1879, Louis Auguste supervised the final stages of construction, mostly involving work on the castle’s interior. The castle was finally completed in 1890. Louis Auguste, like his father, a lover of art, filled the castle with an extensive art collection, most of which was lost during the Second World War.

In 1942, during the Nazi years, Ravené was forced to sell the family castle to the Prussian Ministry of Justice, which turned it into a law school run by the Nazi government. Following the end of the war, the castle became the property of the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate). In 1978 the city of Cochem bought the castle for 664,000 marks.