Located on the Lys River, between Ghent and Deinze, Ooidonk is a remarkable example of Flemish Renaissance castle.
Ooidonk was originally built in the 13-14th century by the Lords of Nevele. The Montmorency family aquired the property in the 15th century. The castle was completely destroyed by the troops of Maximillian of Austria in 1491, but it was reconstructed in 1501.
In 1568, the castle's owner, Philip II de Montmorency-Nivelle, Count of Horn, is beheaded with the Count of Egmont by the Duke of Alba on Brussels's Grand Place. In 1579, during the wars of religion, the castle is besieged and burnt down by Ghent Calvinists. The financially devastated Montmorencys were left with no choice but sell the castle in 1595.
The new owner was a banker from Antwerp, Maarten della Faille, rebuilt the whole castle in the Hispano-Flemish Renaissance style. The castle remained the possession of his descendants, the Barons of Nevelle, for another 200 years.
In 1864, the castle and the lands that surround it are acquired by Henri t' Kint de Rodenbeke who would become President of the Senate and Minister of State. Today the property still belongs to his descendant, Count Henry t'Kint de Roodenbeke.
The interior of Ooidonk was completely remodelled by French architect Parent in 1870.
Opening Hours & Admission
The castle is open on Sundays (also Saturdays in July and August) from 1st April to 15th September, from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm. The French-style gardens are open all year-round.
Entry is 9 € for adults and 3 € for children.
How to get there
The easiest way to access the castle is by car. Ooidonk stands east of the village of Bachte-Maria-Leerne, a few km south-west of Ghent on the N43 road.
Alternatively, go to Deinze train station (12 min from Ghent) or catch a taxi from there.
View Larger Map
Ask your travel questions on the Benelux Travel Forum