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Rumbeke Castle

Belgian Castles

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Rumbeke Castle, locally known as Kasteel van Rumbeke, lies in a wooded domain on the southside of the city of Roeselare, in the province of West Flanders in the Flemish region in Belgium.

According to legend, Count Baldwin I eloped from the town of Senlis with Judith, the daughter of Charles the Bald, King of West Francia, in 862 AD. They fled to a supposed predecessor of Rumbeke Castle. After Pope Nicholas I had allowed them to marry, Charles the Bald had to accept the situation and gave them large pieces of land. This is said to be the birth of the County of Flanders.

Rumbeke Castle was probably built somewhere during the 12th century. Although at that time it was probably more a lightly fortified farm than a real castle. Through sales, heritages and marriages it passed through several families.

In 1479 it went to the Counts of Thiennes through marriage. During the next century the present Rumbeke Castle was built. It was built as a moated manor, its defences only meant to deter plunderers and bands of thieves. The De Thiennes family rebuilt, enlarged and embellished the castle during the next 3 centuries. The castle suffered damages during the invasion in Flanders by Louis XIV of France in the 17th century and later also during the French Revolution.

In 1855 Rumbeke Castle went to the Counts of Limburg-Stirum through marriage. During World War I and II the castle was used to house German officers. In 1988 it was sold by the Count of Limburg-Stirum to the local government.

At present Rumbeke Castle is rented out and used as an office by a company. Sometimes exhibitions are held. So its interior can only be visited as a visitor to such an exhibition. The domain of the castle is freely accessible during daytime. A nice castle.

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