Laarne Castle is located in the Province of East-Flanders in
Laarne, Belgium. The first moated castle was built on this site in the 11th
century as part of a line of defense to protect Gravensteen Castle in Ghent. In
the 14th century, the Counts of Flanders were given permission to
house a garrison at the castle, and the castle underwent several sieges. Built
in Balegem sandstone, the square castle boasts three circular towers with stone
pyramid-shaped fireproof roofs that were built in the 14th century.
The curtain wall was also built at this time, but in the 16th
century the castle underwent further construction and the curtained walls
became living quarters. The castle once held a drawbridge, but this was removed
during the rebuild in 1640. The castle underwent a massive renovation in the
1960’s. The castle’s last private owner, Comte de Ribaucourt, gifted the castle
to the Royal Society of Historic Towns and Courts of Belgium. The castle is a
national monument and museum. Laarne Castle is open to the public and has a
restaurant located in the forecourt.