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Colmont Castle

Belgian Castles

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Colmont Castle, locally known as Kasteel Colmont, lies south of the village of Kolmont, in the province of Limburg in the Flemish region in Belgium.

Colmont Castle was probably built somewhere during the 11th century. It was built to defend the southern border of the county of Loon. It was besieged in 1180 by the troops of the Prince-bishop of Liège. The castle stayed in the hands of the Counts of Loon until 1206 when ownership transferred to the Dukes of Brabant. During the next two centuries the castle was abandoned and it slowly deteriorated.

In 1488 however, the castle was made defensible again by Everard van der Marck who opposed against the power of the Prince-bishop; Jan van Horne. This caused the castle to be sieged again in 1489. After only a couple of days the walls were breached and the castle’s garrison had to surrender. In 1490 the Prince-bishop ordered the castle to be dismantled. And in 1499 the council of the nearby town of Tongeren ordered the demolition of the remaining walls and used its stones to repair the city walls.

Colmont Castle is situated on a natural elevation in the landscape, which has been raised further to form a motte. The former entrance of the castle was situated at its north side. It had an oval bailey surrounded by a defensive wall. The keep was ten-sided with a circumference of 47 meters. Originally it would have stood to a height of 18 to 24 meters but now only 12 meters remain.

This is ruin is an adventure to explore, because its quite a strenuous up-hill hike to reach it and it feels like a discovery. The bailey is only recognizable by the earthen walls surrounding it, underneath which wall fragments must still remain. The entrance to the keep is firmly barricaded by a makeshift log door.

However, the entire castle site is off limits because the site is a nature reserve and a badger habitat. If you do attempt to visit, do so during fall of winter because otherwise everything is overgrown with nettles. And that you’re not the only ‘tourist’ to visit these ruins is apparent from the many, 19th century, inscriptions in the outer, sandstone walls of the keep.

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