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Kasteel van Mesen


‘Kasteel van Mesen’ was an abandoned castle in the city of Lede in Oost Vlaanderen, Belgium. In its history it served as a house, factory, monastery and as a catholic boarding school. It was eventually demolished in 2009. Explore the rich history of this castle nestled in Lede, Belgium.

Initially, wooden structures graced the hills, safeguarding the locals from adversaries. These evolved into dungeons and eventually majestic castles. Mesen Castle, formerly owned by the Bette family, boasted four towers and a square design.

Industry and religion

Destroyed in the 1580s, Mesen Castle experienced resurrection by the century’s end, as depicted on a 1628 map. Its fate shifted with time, serving industrial purposes like housing a gin distillery and a sugar factory. Subsequently, it transformed into a religious institution, operating as a monastery and later, a boarding school for orphans and children of disabled soldiers from 1752.

In 1905, neo-gothic wings and a captivating chapel enhanced the castle’s allure. Transitioning into a school for the populace in 1952, the castle bore witness to centuries of construction and upheaval, yet remnants primarily reflect its 17th-century origins. Situated amidst a sprawling 7-hectare park, the castle boasted additional structures like stables and an orangery.


Despite its storied past, neglect plagued Mesen Castle, leading to its abandonment in 1972. While plans for demolition and restoration emerged over the years, the ravages of time proved insurmountable. By 1999, discussions veered toward repurposing the site for a new-built nursing home, sealing the castle’s fate.

Venture into the melancholic beauty of ‘Kasteel van Mesen,’ a testament to the ebb and flow of time. Amidst crumbling walls and overgrown greenery lies a narrative of resilience and decay. As an urban explorer, my visits in 2005 and 2006 captured the essence of this forgotten gem, immortalizing its fading grandeur through the lens of my camera.

Built 1628 + 1905
Abandoned 1972
Demolished 2009
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