Gaasbeek Castle is a medieval castle located just southwest of Brussels in the village of Gaasbeek, Belgium. Originally built in the 13th century, it underwent periods of destruction and rebuilding over the centuries. The dilapidated castle was lavishly renovated into a Neo-Gothic chateau in the late 19th century by the wealthy Arconati Visconti family, who later donated it to the Belgian state.
Opened as a museum in 1924, Gaasbeek Castle is now publicly owned and open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm, from April to October. Tickets cost € 12 ($13, £10) for adults. The castle can be reached via car, bus, or train.
The interior features ornate neo-Gothic details but many rooms now house modern art exhibits after the original furnishings were removed. The true highlight is the expansive castle grounds, comprising serene forests, ponds, and walking trails perfect for a peaceful escape.
- What is Gaasbeek castle?
- What does WonderfulWanderings think about Gaasbeek castle?
- Where is Gaasbeek castle?
- What is the history of Gaasbeek castle?
- When was Gaasbeek castle been opened to Public?
- What are the visiting hours of Gaasbeek castle?
- When is the best Time to Visit Gaasbeek castle?
- Is it safe to visit in Gaasbeek castle?
- How much is the Entrance Fee for Gaasbeek castle?
- How long is the typical visit time in Gaasbeek castle?
- How to get to Gaasbeek castle?
- What are the house rules of Gaasbeek castle?
- Does it worth it to visit Gaasbeek castle?
- Are there any guided tours to Gaasbeek castle?
- What are the best Castles in Belgium?
What is Gaasbeek castle?
Gaasbeek Castle is a medieval castle located in the village of Gaasbeek, part of the municipality of Lennik in the Flemish province of Flemish Brabant, Belgium. It is situated about 10 kilometers southwest of Brussels. The castle originated in the 13th century and went through periods of destruction and rebuilding over the centuries. It was transformed into a lavish Neo-Gothic residence in the late 19th century. Today, Gaasbeek Castle serves as a national museum filled with impressive art collections and historical artifacts, set within 50 hectares (124 acres) of castle grounds and gardens. The museum is owned by the Flemish Community.
What does WonderfulWanderings think about Gaasbeek castle?
I visited the Gaasbeek Castle on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. I found it to be an enjoyable visit with lovely grounds perfect for taking a peaceful walk. The castle itself was quite nice, but I was slightly disappointed to find many of the rooms emptied of original furniture as the pieces had been donated to the Louvre. Instead, the castle featured modern art exhibits which felt out of place in the medieval interior. I wished I could have seen the rooms fully furnished. The castle grounds, however, did not disappoint. Acres of trails wound through ancient forests and led past serene ponds. It was like wandering through a fairytale landscape. I enjoyed a picnic lunch (with my family) at one of the many benches scattered throughout the grounds. The weather cooperated nicely, providing a crisp fall day to explore the outdoors. After working up an appetite on our hike, we stopped at the brasserie just outside the castle gates for a tasty lunch. The grounds provided the perfect peaceful getaway so close to the city. The 15 euro combo entrance fee to the castle itself felt fair for the ability to freely wander the enchanting grounds made up for it. I look forward to returning once the interior has been fully refurnished as promised in 2024. My visit provided a lovely day out of the city amongst nature. The grounds alone were worth the trip.
Where is Gaasbeek castle?
Gaasbeek Castle is located at Kasteelstraat 40, 1750 Gaasbeek, Belgium. It is situated in the village of Gaasbeek, within the municipality of Lennik, in the province of Flemish Brabant. The castle is 10 kilometers southwest of Brussels, the capital of Belgium.
What is the history of Gaasbeek castle?
Gaasbeek Castle has a long and eventful history going back to the 13th century. The first fortified castle on the site was built around 1240 to defend the Duchy of Brabant against the County of Flanders. It was destroyed in the 14th century but rebuilt in the early 16th century by the Horne family. In 1565, the Count of Egmont acquired the castle. He was later beheaded for treason, becoming a martyr figure in Dutch history. Over the next centuries, Gaasbeek had various noble owners and suffered damage from warfare. In the late 19th century, the wealthy Italian Arconati Visconti family gained ownership of the dilapidated castle. The Marquise Arconati Visconti then oversaw a major renovation that transformed Gaasbeek into a lavish neo-Gothic chateau filled with artworks. The Marquise donated the castle to Belgium in 1921. It opened as a museum in 1924 and has been publicly owned since.
When was Gaasbeek castle been opened to Public?
Gaasbeek Castle was opened to the public in 1924. The castle was donated to the Belgian state in 1921 by its last private owner, the Marquise Arconati Visconti. After her death in 1923, it was turned into a national museum and officially opened to visitors in 1924. For nearly a century since then, the public has been able to explore the castle's lavish historical rooms and appreciate its impressive art collections.
What are the visiting hours of Gaasbeek castle?
The visiting hours for Gaasbeek Castle are: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00 (Last admission at 17:00) from April to October and Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00 (Last admission at 16:00) from November to March. It is also open on public holidays. The castle is closed on Mondays during the open season. The Museum Garden of Gaasbeek castle is open from Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00. In October, the garden closes at 5 pm but it is open on public holidays.
The Entrance Building & Museumshop is open from Tuesday to Sunday: 09:30 – 17:30 and is open on public holidays. The Park of Gaasbeek castle is 0pen daily from sunrise to sunset. The park buildings open only on Sunday from 13:00 to 17:00.
When is the best Time to Visit Gaasbeek castle?
The best time to visit Gaasbeek Castle is during the spring, summer and early fall months from April to October when the castle museum is open and the weather is mild. Spring is especially lovely as the grounds burst with colorful blooms like daffodils and bluebells. Summer offers long days to explore the castle and gardens at a leisurely pace. Fall brings autumn foliage to the forested trails. Avoid the winter when the museum is closed. Arrive early in the day to beat the crowds and allow ample time to see the exhibits. Tuesday and Wednesday tend to be less busy.
Is it safe to visit in Gaasbeek castle?
Yes, it is generally very safe to visit Gaasbeek Castle. The castle and grounds are located in a quiet rural area outside of the city, with very low crime rates. The castle has security staff on site during open hours. Visitors should exercise normal precautions as in any public setting, be aware of their surroundings, keep valuables secured, and supervise children at all times. The castle's architecture and layout poses some moderate fall risks from heights and stairs within the historic building, so caution is advised. Guided tours are available for an in-depth experience. Visitors report feeling safe and comfortable during their time at the castle.
How much is the Entrance Fee for Gaasbeek castle?
The entrance fee to visit Gaasbeek Castle is € 12 ($13, £10) for adults. Children, Museumpass card holders, ICOM, Riebedebie card holders, press card holders, researchers/students under age 18 enter for free. There are also discounted rates available for seniors, students, families, and groups.
The entrance fee to visit the Museum Garden at Gaasbeek is €7 for adults. Groups from 10 people, people with disabilities, students aged under 27, teachers with a teachers' card, members of TuinHier, visitors to Meise plant garden are eligible for a reduced rate of €6. Kids under 18, National Trust, companions of people with disabilities or schools can enter the Museum Garden at Gaasbeek for free.
The exterior castle grounds and gardens can be visitied for free for all visitors.
Combination tickets including entrance to the Gaasbeek castle and the Museum Garden can be purchased at €15 per person. Combi tickets are free of charge for kids under 18 and Museumpass holders.
Special guided tour prices vary. Tickets can be purchased at the castle ticket office on site. Cash and credit cards are accepted.
How long is the typical visit time in Gaasbeek castle?
The typical amount of time visitors spend at Gaasbeek Castle is about 2-3 hours. This allows enough time to take a self-guided tour through the full castle museum interior at a leisurely pace. Visitors also often spend another hour exploring the expansive castle grounds and gardens. Travelers may stay a bit longer for a picnic lunch on the lawns or to take advantage of the walking trails in the peaceful scenery surrounding the castle. Guided tours and special events at the castle can also extend visits. Visiting earlier in the day provides more time to linger without feeling rushed before closing.
How long can you stay in Gaasbeek castle?
There is no time limit on how long you can stay inside Gaasbeek Castle during open hours. Visitors can take as much or as little time as they want to explore the castle museum exhibits at their own pace. The last admission is one hour before the posted closing time. Most people spend 2-3 hours touring the full castle.
How to get to Gaasbeek castle?
There are several options for getting to Gaasbeek Castle, these are by bar, by bus and by train.
- By Car: The castle has a parking lot located right at the entrance to the grounds. It can be easily accessed by car via the main Brussels ring road, exit 15a towards Vlezenbeek.
- By Bus: Take bus #142 from Brussels-South Station or Erasmus Metro Station towards Gaasbeek/Leerbeek and get off at the “Gaasbeek Castle” stop.
- By Train: The closest train station is in Lennik, about 4 km from the castle. You can then take a taxi or bus #142 to the castle.
The castle is 10 minute to walk from the bus stop through the village. Clear signage directs visitors entering on foot or bike. Bicycle parking is available at the entrance. Driving or taking the bus are the easiest ways to reach the castle.
What are the house rules of Gaasbeek castle?
Listed below are the house rules for visiting Gaasbeek Castle:
- No food or drink. No food or drink is allowed inside the castle museum. Picnicking is permitted on the grounds.
- Photography and video recording are prohibited. Photography and video recording are prohibited inside the museum exhibits for preservation reasons. Photography is allowed in the exterior areas.
- Bags and backpacks must be checked. Bags and backpacks must be checked at the coat check before entering the museum. Valuables should not be left unattended.
- Children must be supervised at all times. Many rooms have fragile furnishings and art that could be accidentally damaged.
- Stay on the marked paths. Visitors must stay on marked paths in the gardens, not tread on planting beds, and respect the natural areas.
- Appropriate footwear is recommended. The castle interior has uneven floors and historic staircases, so appropriate footwear is recommended.
- Pets are not permitted. Pets are not permitted inside the buildings or gardens, except service animals.
Does it worth it to visit Gaasbeek castle?
Yes, Gaasbeek Castle is absolutely worth visiting. This magnificent castle provides a uniquely picturesque and immersive historical experience. The interior exhibits and architecture offer an authentic look at the evolution of the castle through the centuries. The location in the peaceful Belgian countryside provides a relaxing change of pace from bustling city destinations. Gaasbeek makes for a worthwhile day trip or weekend excursion from Brussels to admire fine European cultural heritage and art. Many visitors remark that Gaasbeek exceeded their expectations and was a highlight of their time in Belgium.
Are there any guided tours to Gaasbeek castle?
Yes, guided tours are available at Gaasbeek Castle for an additional fee. Tours need to be booked in advance through the castle website or by phone. There are guided tours offered daily at 11:00am and 3:00pm from April through October. Tours are available in Dutch, French, English and German. Groups of up to 25 people can reserve a private tour outside normal hours. Tour prices are €50 for groups up to 5, €80 for groups up to 15, and €120 for groups up to 25. Guided tours allow visitors to gain deeper insight about the castle's history and collections from knowledgeable guides. Self-guided tours are also possible with audio guides available in four languages.
What are the best Castles in Belgium?
Listed below, you'll find some of the best castles in Belgium:
- Castle of Gaasbeek: Castle of Gaasbeek is a medieval castle near Brussels, it has been restored in a romantic neo-Gothic style and boasts rich decor and artifacts.
- Gravensteen: Gravensteen is well-preserved medieval castle in Ghent served as the residence of the Counts of Flanders. Now a museum, it showcases medieval arms, torture devices, and offers panoramic views from the ramparts.
- Alden Biesen Castle: Alden Biesen Castle is a 16th-century moated castle in Limburg, it has been carefully restored and now serves as a cultural center. Visitors can explore the grounds, museum, and attend events at the castle.
- Groot-Bijgaarden Castle: Groot-Bijgaarden Castle is a 12th-century moated castle near Brussels showcases a blend of medieval and Renaissance architecture styles.
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