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MIDDELHEIM

This castle was built in the 16th century as a summer residence for the rich patricians of Antwerp. The present building was completed in 1780 by the famous architect Guimard, who is also responsible for designing the Royal palace in Brussels. The castle became in 1842 property of the wealthy banker family Edmond le Grelle. He transformed the gardens into an arboretum. Tragedy struck the family when le Grelle’s both daughters died of smallpox while on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Widow Bathilde de Wael leases the castle after the death of her husband to the local authorities who buy the castle in 1910 and transform it into a tearoom. In 1950 the castle gets its final destination when the park is transformed into an open-air museum of sculptures. The castle itself is at the moment a tavern. You can visit the park / museum all year around except on Mondays. It is situated in the eastern green belt of the city Antwerp.

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