- - Laarne Castle
||04-21-2014 08:25 PM
Laarne Castle is a 14th century moated edifice situated southeast of Ghent.
Between 1150 to 1157 Thierry de Masmines built a fortified house there.
The Laarne Castle proper was built at the beginning of the 1300s when the fortified house was converted into the entrance block.
Each of the three cylindrical towers has a staircase turret.
The towers are crenellated and covered by an octagonal pepper-pot roof of stone.
In the 1600s the van Vilsteren family acquired the property.
They began to transform Laarne Castle into a comfortable residence.
In 1794 the castle was inhabited by the Comte de Ribaucourt.
It remained in the Ribaucourt family until 1953.
The chapel on the middle floor is vaulted with ribs spring from corbels and was originally lit by two lancets.
Each floor is taken up by a large chamber.
The flanges of the ceiling beams are carved with the arms of the owners.
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The interior walls of Laarne Castle are hung with tapestries. Two of these tapestries were made in Brussels in the 16th century following designs by B. van Orley and belonging to the series of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I's hunts.
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Established in the 11th or 12th century to guard the approaches to Ghent from the sea, it was comprehensively renovated in the 17th century.
Since 1953 the castle belongs to the Koninklijke Vereniging der Historische Woonsteden en Hoven van BelgiŽ ("The Royal Association of Historic Residences and Gardens of Belgium"), to whom it was given by the last private owner, the Comte de Ribaucourt. It is a protected national monument and is used as a museum.
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