Mesen Castle

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Mesen Castle
Markizaat Lede.jpg
Type Castle
Site information
Open to
the public
Condition Ruins
Site history
Built 1749
Built by Giovanni Niccolò Servandoni for the Marquess of Lede
The ruins of Mesen Castle

Mesen Castle was an important noble residence in Lede, Belgium, today partly ruined and completely abandoned. The 18th century castle is considered to have been one of the most important aristocratic estates of the 18th century.


Originally the vast estate and castle were private owned by the Marquess of Lede. Among the castle's residents were Françoise de Bette and Jean François de Bette, 3rd Marquess of Lede. The 18th-century facade was designed by the Italian architect Giovanni Niccolò Servandoni for the 4th Marquess, Emmanuel de Bette. It is considered one of this architect's major works.[1] The main facade has a dorian colonnade with balustrade and large pediment, with heraldic crest of the house of Bette, holding lions.[2]

After the noble house became extinct, the property was bought in 1897 by a Catholic institution and had an important social function. New buildings were added in Neogothic style. Before the final demolition, the ruins were popular for urban exploration.


The local authorities refused to protect the castle or to classify it as a monument and let it fall into complete ruin.[3] Today most of the buildings have been demolished, despite local protests.[4]



Coordinates: 50°58′03″N 3°59′08″E / 50.9674°N 3.9856°E / 50.9674; 3.9856