Horst Castle, locally known as Kasteel van Horst, lies near the village of Sint-Pieters-Rode, north-east of the city of Brussels, in the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish region in Belgium.
When the first Horst Castle was built isn’t known. And however there was a ‘castellum Rode’ in this area in the 11th century, the name Horst was first mentioned in 1263. Then a Jan van Thunen settled here and called himself Jan van Horst.
Horst Castle was built on a strategic spot in the Winge-valley and was one of the strengths protecting the nearby city of Leuven which was the largest and most important city in the Duchy of Brabant during the 14th century.
In 1369 the castle was bought by an Amelric Boote who rebuilt it. Of his stronghold only the keep, part of the curtain wall and a part of the gate remains.
In 1488/89 the castle was burnt down by the people of Leuven during their war against Maximilian of Austria. Around 1490 the castle was rebuilt to its present appearance by a Lodewijk Pynnock. Before he could finish the castle he had to sell it in 1500, due to financial difficulties.
The new owner was Iwein van Kortenbach which caused the castle to come in the sphere of the town of Mechelen rather than Leuven.
In 1521 the castle was sold again, this time to the Van Buysleyden family. But this family also came into financial difficulties and had to sell the castle in the 17th century. This time it was sold to an Olivier van Schoonhoven who finally finished the rebuilding of the castle.
In 1630 Maria-Anna van den Tympel inherited the castle. She is the one who made the stucco ceilings in the three halls and was the last owner actually residing in the castle.
In the following centuries the ownership of the castle changed several times through inheritance. The new owners however weren’t interested in the castle which had gotten out of fashion. The castle was mostly maintained by caretakers.
Nowadays the castle stands empty. During your visit you can walk through its halls and climb the keep all the way to the top through a narrow wall staircase. There is a little shop and a restaurant in the former coach-house on the bailey