Alden Biesen Castle – History You Can Visit

Alden Biesen Castle

Alden Biesen Castle is a 16th-century castle in Belgium, located in the small village of Bilzen in Limburg.

It’s one of the largest castles in Belgium and the largest of all the castle domains in the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) and has a fascinating history that is worth exploring.

The castle is easily accessible by car and public transportation, making it a popular day-trip destination from nearby cities such as Maastricht, Liège, and Brussels.

You can also visit Alden Biesen Castle and soak up the atmosphere yourself!

LocationKasteelstraat 6, 3740 Bilzen, Belgium (Google Maps)
Opening Times9.30 am – 5.30 pm
Entry CostFree
Parking & ChargingFree parking is located opposite the castle.
There are three charging points in the car park.
Public TransportCatch a train to Biesen and then catch the complimentary bus to the castle. It runs according to a schedule you can find here.

Visiting Alden Biesen Castle

Alden Biesen Castle Gardens
Alden Biesen Castle Gardens – image courtesy of Wikimedia

Today, Alden Biesen is a cultural center owned by the Flemish Community. It hosts a number of events, exhibitions, seminars, and cultural activities throughout the year. Alden Biesen is famous for its annual events, including the International Storytelling Festival and the Scottish weekend, which celebrates Scottish culture. So, no matter when you go, you are sure to have an event or activity to enjoy!

The site is also used for educational purposes, offering workshops and training sessions on various subjects.

The castle and its beautiful gardens are open to the public. On your visit, you can explore

  • the grand room
  • chapel
  • English park
  • French garden
  • orchards


There’s also a hotel on the premises, making it possible for visitors to stay and immerse themselves in the historic surroundings.

History Of Alden Biesen Castle

The history of Alden Biesen goes back to the 11th century when it was founded by the Order of the Teutonic Knights, a German Catholic religious order of crusaders. The knights were given this land by the Prince-Bishop of Liège as a reward for their services during the Crusades.

The 16th to 18th centuries were the golden age for Alden Biesen. During this period, the castle was the headquarters of a bailiwick or province of the Teutonic Order, overseeing more than a dozen commanderies (estates) in the region.

The French Revolution brought an end to the Teutonic Order’s presence in the region. The castle was confiscated and sold to the French state. Over the next two centuries, it changed hands several times.

In 1971, a catastrophic fire severely damaged Alden Biesen. After the fire, the Belgian state acquired the castle and undertook extensive restoration efforts. Today, it stands as a testament to the architectural styles and cultural significance of its heyday.

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