Thursday, August 18, 2011

Heks Castle (Kasteel van Heks)

 I'd like to tell you about Heks Castle which is situated in the village of Heks in the municipality of Heers, province of Limburg,  Belgium.

Me and my daughter visited it in June. 
The castle is a private residence and usually closed for visitors. 
But twice a year - in June and September a festival of flowers, rare plants and kitchen gardens are held there, and 
the park and the gardens are available!
A lot of people in Belgium wait for the event and very excited because of it.
When we arrived we saw many cars at the parking.
Now we are going through the open gates.
I'm so excited...

Here we are. 

There is a castle on the left. I wonder who lives there. Are you interested in it too? 
The house was built in the 18th century by the Prince-Bishop of Liege, Franz Karl, Count of Velbruck. 
He was a humanist and nature-lover.
The estate is now in the possession of the D'Ursel family.

We saw ponies on the right. Isn't it a cutie? But it seemed to me that it was sad.

The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens in French style and English parks. They occupy a huge territory.
We made sure in it.


We got tickets and went to the area where an exhibition were held.

Rare plants  

These roses smell nice. I want to have perfume with such smell!

 Nadia and flowers
Then we went around a corner and saw the castle from the other side. 
The road to the castle is made of crushed stone. I broke my leather shoes :( Nadia was more lucky than me because she was wearing sneakers. 
I wonder what's the right way to move on such a road, looks like it's better to go by coach :)

I wonder for whom the door was made of and where will you go if you enter it?
What a pity that i can't decrease like Alice from a fairytale "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carrol and go inside...

Angels feel comfortable there...

The castle is famous for its collection of roses. It was created by countess Michel D'Ursel. There is a kind of rose which you can find only here. It's a rose Velbruck Indica Centifolia, named after the founder of the castle.

it's a very interesting place...
There is a huge garden there down. We don't have any ideas how to get there. But we wish to do it.
Maybe we should go here... I'm so risky.  Follow me!

Yes! It was the right way to the garden. We're in the garden now. There is a swimming pool. But swimming isn't allowed.

This is an old well.

This is a church. We are listening to a sweet ringing bells. It goes from there. 

Black sheep. Have you even seen black sheep? 

Nadia and flowers

Look there! This is a scarecrow!

This is an ecological scarecrow!

This scarecrow is from a fairytale "A Wizard of Ozz" by Frank Baum. Hello, my friend! Now I know where you live:)

Another scarecrow

What a fashion-monger!

This is the most friendly scarecrow. It's ready to hug you!

This is a frightening scarecrow. When it's windy it twists back and forth, back and forth...

The garden has finished. What will be then?

We wanted to go closer. But it's not alloweded because it's private.

You can go closer to the tower if you wish. But it will be a beehive on your way there... So we didn't go there.

I wonder why the building was build? 
It looks like nobody lives there now. But who knows?

We went through the green gates.

We saw the castle before us. We're on our way back.

Police is close. By the way they are women!

We're already close to the exit

Good-bye, Heks Castle, we spent great time...

Alden Biesen Castle

I want to tell you about my and my daughter's travel to the Middle Ages. We visited Alden Biesen castle in June.  It's located in the small village of
 Rijkhoven in the municipality of Bielsen in the province of Limburg in Belgium.
For the first time we saw the castle in Mini Europe park.
We made a wish to go there ...

So here we are!

We were welcomed at the entrance
 What a pity we're too big already to ride a pony

 The knights of the Teutonic Order originally founded the Landcommanderij Alden Biesen ("commandery of Alden Biesen") in the 11 th century. 
I'm about to fall in love with one of them...

The current buildings were constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries.
So we are in another world now..

Permanent inhabitans of the castle

This is a layout of the castle

We are at the medieval Fair. We can hear laugh, music and loud voices...

A smith is working

You can buy sculptures, paintings and order your coat of arms here 

I like him


This is my colleague - a writer :)

These are people who are having rest from the bustle of the fair

We opened a door of the castle, went inside and... we're in the Church!

You can see how women looked like in those old times

How do you think what's this?

Modern people

Now we're in another part of the castle

You can buy some tasty things here

Oh my God! Poor thing! But why is he smiling? Oh he is just posing for the camera!

Here is a camp of lepers

The soup is being cooked for them

They will have lunch soon

Do you want to join them? 

This is a test for the true princess

 Can you shoot well? Good luck!

It's time to have some snack. What do you think about tasty belgium medieval sausages?

We'll go through the gates in a moment... and we'll be in 21 th century again...