Castles of Brabant

The former Duchy of Brabant is home to a treasure trove of historic castles. Spread across the beautiful landscapes of Flanders and the Netherlands, they bear witness to a rich past. Come and explore and embark on adventures in and around these majestic structures. Many castles are open to the public and offer guided tours that lead you through centuries of history. You will discover the well-preserved architecture and the intriguing stories behind the walls. Their sprawling parks and gardens invite you to take a relaxing walk or a slightly more sporting bike ride. A unique experience for all ages!

The former Duchy of Brabant stretched across the current Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant, Brussels-Capital Region and Antwerp, as well as the Dutch province of North Brabant. In addition to Huizingen Castle, Oud-Herlaer Castle and the Hof ter Laken castle domain, more and more castles in Brabant are opening their gates to the general public. Experience Brabant’s rich heritage. 

Huizingen Castle

The story of Huizingen Castle dates back to the 15th century. The castle as we know it today got its shape thanks to Albert Vaucamps. He bought the site in 1875 and transformed it into a neo-Renaissance masterpiece, complete with a vast park full of winding footpaths and imposing trees.

One of the highlights of the park is the enchanting rock garden, also known as the ‘Bloemenvallei’ or Flower Valley. This alpine garden, designed by Paul Dewit, was laid out in 1958 for World Expo 58. The garden is a colourful collection of alpine plants, Japanese rhododendrons and azaleas. With its winding paths, picturesque water features and breathtaking views, the rock garden is a must-see for any visitor. Do not forget to admire the ancient sweet chestnut - a champion tree with an impressive girth of more than five metres!

Next to the castle, you can also find the coach house and the dovecote. These charming buildings add even more character to the site. The coach house, built in 1879, and the gatekeeper’s house, built in 1918, are heritage gems not to be missed. 

Huizingen (c) Lander Loeckx

The domain is open to visitors all year round:

  • From April to September from 9:00 to 20:00 (admission charge applies)
  • In October from 9:00 to 18:00
  • From November to February from 9:00 to 17:00
  • In March from 9:00 to 18:30  

Practical information:

  • Address: Henry Torleylaan, 1654 Huizingen
  • Contact: info@vlaamsbrabant.be  
  • Tip! At the main entrance, there is a map of all the walking routes 

Castle Oud-Herlaer

Oud Herlaer (c) Brabants Landschap

The first written evidence of the existence of a castle at this location dates from 1076. It appears that the seigniory stemmed from a guardianship that the van Herlaer family exercised over the possessions of the Bishop of Liège. Dirk van Herlaer, who lived in the second half of the 12th century, played an important role in this. 

An anonymous print from the end of the 17th century shows an impressive round castle with a square keep, a chapel and a thieves’ tower.  

Today, unfortunately, little remains of the original castle. Nevertheless, the site is certainly worth a visit for anyone interested in the region’s rich history and in the stories of the noble families that once lived there. A walk along the Dommel provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on Oud-Herlaer’s glorious past and the people who lived there. 

Castle Oud-Herlaar, situated on the picturesque banks of the river Dommel in the west of Sint-Michielsgestel, is a place where history comes alive. This historic structure got its name when a new castle was built upstream: ‘Nieuw-Herlaer’, and it offers a fascinating glimpse into the region's past.  

Oud-Herlaer was once the seat of the important seigniory of Herlaer. That region exerted considerable influence and was the granter of much land in fief. Over the centuries, various noble families came into possession of this seigniory, eventually including the Marquises of Bergen op Zoom. Having many possessions in other places, the castle fell into decline and was ultimately demolished. However, you can still feel the rich history of this unique place.  

Kasteel Oud-Herlaer

The site is open to visitors all year round:  

  • From April to September from 9:00 to 20:00 (admission charge applies)
  • In October from 9:00 to 18:00
  • From November to February from 9:00 to 17:00
  • In March from 9:00 to 18:30 

Practical information: 

  • Address: Oud Herlaer 1 - Haanwijk
  • Contact: info@brabantslandschap.be  
  • Tip! You pass by Oud-Herlaer on stage 15 of the ‘Ons Kloosterpad’ walking route (16 km). You start at Kloosterhotel ZIN in Vught and finish at Stadsklooster San Damiano in ’s Hertogenbosch. Nodes: 17 > 56 > 57 > 58 > 86 > 25 > 27 > 28 > 54 > 1 > 6 > 5 > 9 > 19 > 17 > 81 > 80 > 52 > 79 > 85

Castle domain Hof ter Laken

The castle domain of Hof ter Laken in Booischot is a real gem located by the Grote Nete river. The Flemish Neo-Renaissance castle is a real eye-catcher in the magnificent 30-hectare walking park. The building in its current form was constructed between 1830 and 1870. In addition, the park boasts a depot with horse stables, a forester’s house, the former ice cellar and a partially walled kitchen garden and orchard.  

The domain is crossed by the Molenbeek and several other ‘laken’ or smaller watercourses, to which it owes its name. It is surrounded by forests and flower-filled meadows. The stately drive and the location along the charming meandering river complete the picture.  

It’s worth mentioning that you can combine a walk from Hof Ter Laken along the Grote Nete river, which with good reason is called the Loire of the Kempen, and pay a visit to many other castles along the river. You will literally walk through the decor of the Flemish film Pallieter, which was shot in and around Hof Ter Laken.  

Hof ter Laken (c) Stichting Kempens Landschap (7)
Hof ter Laken (c) Bruno Janssens



On 19 July 2018, the municipality of Heist-op-den-Berg and the Kempens Landschap Foundation took over the site from the de Gruben family. Since then, the park has been managed by Kempens Landschap and the restoration of the buildings has been thoroughly prepared. In the future, the castle will serve as heritage accommodation for large groups (up to 30-35 persons). The depot with the coach house will become a brasserie with a room for events and space for meetings. So after your walk or bike ride, you will be able to enjoy a quiet moment in the glorious setting of Hof Ter Laken.  

You can visit the site for free all year round from sunrise to sunset. The future opening hours of the buildings are not yet known.  

Practical information:

  • Address: Hofdreef – 2221 Booischot (Heist-op-den-Berg)  
  • Contact: info@kempenslandschap.be  
  • Tip! Hof ter Laken is located at node 71 in Heist-op-den-Berg. If you cycle from there in the direction of node 5, you ride through the majestic Hofdreef, which provides a fine view of the castle.