Photo of the week: King of the castle


The Marnix van Sint-Aldegonde Castle in Bornem is open to the public for a few precious days this summer

Bird’s eye view

Ghent-based photographer James Arthur Gekiere took to the skies this week, delivering a bird’s eye view of Waasland, the region in the northeast of East Flanders that takes in a bit of Antwerp province as well.

Gekiere was in a hot air balloon, affording a unique perspective of the region, historically known as a difficult place to live and farm because of its watery marshland. While the marshes have long been drained, farms still show effects of once having been ploughed towards their centre to improve drainage.

The striking picture above is of the Marnix van Sint-Aldegonde Castle, also called the Bornem Castle after the town in which it is situated. The 16th-century castle was built by the Spanish nobleman don Pedro Coloma and came into the hands of Philip of Marnix, lord of Saint- Aldegonde in the late 18th century.

Carriage museum

His descendants still own the castle today, which is occasionally open to visitors. A guided tour focuses on its 16th-century history. It also has a marvellous collection of 18th-century furnishings and engravings by Pieter Breughel the Elder.

One room is home to a collection of antique dolls, and another to an exhibition on Philip de Marnix. A highlight is the carriage museum, with its collection of perfectly preserved antique carriages.

While the castle is usually only open to groups, there are a handful of days in August and September that it is open to individuals.

Photo by James Arthur Gekiere/BELGA