Gaasbeek Castle sits enthroned amidst the rolling hills of Pajottenland just outside Brussels. The medieval castle has had an eventful history, evolving from a strategic stronghold to a spacious country house. The Count of Egmond, was one of its best-known owners. The present building was given its romantic restyling at the end of the nineteenth century by the enigmatic French Marchioness Arconati Visconti. She was the daughter-in-law of aristocrats Giuseppe and Costanza Arconati Visconti, who, between 1821 and 1839, turned the castle into a unique meeting place for intellectual exchanges between exiled Italian politicians, European writers and scientists. Marie Arconati Visconti was also interested in the great intellectual debates of her time, as her correspondence with and support for Alfred Dreyfus testify. She set up the castle as a museum for her considerable art collection and treated it like a historical theatre set. The dream castle created then is still something of a time machine with its historic interiors, tapestries, paintings, furniture, sculptures and other valuable objects.
The castle was closed for restoration and will reopen its doors on the first of July 2023.
The castle park, with its centuries-old trees, ponds, lanes, winding paths and occasional historic buildings, is the ideal place for winding down. The estate also includes a unique museum garden where old varieties of fruit and vegetables are cultivated.