Castle Mesen ruins in Belgium: a former royal residence, industrial center, and boarding school that has since been demolished
Mesen Castle, also known as Kasteel van Mesen, was built near Lede, Belgium. The castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times, the most recent occasion being in 1628. It was originally built as a fortification and used as a royal home for a long time. The Bette family owned the land from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The structure was no longer used as a dwelling in 1796. The castle was converted and used to promote local industry during the 1800s. It has previously served as a gin distillery, a tobacco factory, and a sugar refinery.
The castle was constructed in the centre of Lede and is encircled by a seven-acre park surrounded by enormous walls. In 1897, the Kannunikessen nuns of Jupille (now Liège) purchased this property. In 1905, the religious order built an outstanding Gothic Revival chapel on the castle grounds. They also turned the castle into a boarding school. Following WWI, the “Institute Royal de Messines” took over administration of the school.
The castle was built in the centre of Lede, surrounded by a seven-acre park surrounded by strong walls. In 1897, the Kannunikessen nuns from Jupille (now Liège) purchased this property. In 1905, the religious order constructed a beautiful Gothic Revival chapel to the castle grounds. They also renovated the castle into a boarding school. The administration of the school was handed over to the “Institute Royal de Messines” after WWI
Mesen Castle was in use from 1914 to the late 1960s. It was used as an exclusive residential school for French-speaking females. Aside from academic classes, pupils were taught proper manners, people management, and proper cleanliness. The school was supported by the Belgian aristocracy. The girls had a strict schedule; their days began at 7 a.m. with Mass, then continued with arduous exercises until the evening. The classes were rigorous, and the school board insisted on strict Victorian discipline.