Around Damme

 

Picture: market square of Bruges  

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Aardenburg
Abbey of Ter Doest
Adegem
Bruges
Castle of Middelburg
Donk
Dudzele
Fort of Bavaria
Knokke-Heist
Koolkerke
Lissewege
Maldegem
Male
Middelburg
Oedelem
Sint-Anna-Ter-Muiden
Sluis

 

Male

Close to Sijsele, lies the village of Male.  Male used to be a part of Sijsele (one of the oldest settlements of the region), but now lies on the territory of Bruges.  Male has a small, but very scenic center, with several little old farms.  The most important construction however, is the monumental castle.  It is said that already in the 9th century there used to be a defence tower here for protection against the vikings.  

The castle was inaugurated (1166) by the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Moore, but was probably already built a few years before by the count of Flanders, Philips of Alsace.  It served mainly as a residence for the counts of Flanders.  During the French occupation, French soldiers occupied the stronghold.  In 1302 the castle was recovered by Bruges (onder guidance of Jan Breydel, Pieter de Koninck and William of Gullik).

In 1382, Male was captured by soldiers from Ghent and destroyed, after which it was rebuilt.  In 1453, again soldiers from Ghent plundered the castle.  In 1490, it was plundered again, this time by soldiers from the count of Nassau.

By far the most important person in the history of Male, is Louis of Male (born 1329).  He was the son of Louis of Nevers and Margareta of France and became the 24th count of Flanders.  His daughter, Margaretha, married Philips, the duke of Burgundy.  Due to this fact, Flanders became a part of duchy of Burgundy.  During this period the castle retained its importance.  During the Spanish occupation, the citadel got somewhat forgotten and was sold in 1558 by Philips II to knight Juan Lopez Gallo.  Two years later, he was appointed baron by Philips II.  The castle is thoroughly restored and has become a women's convent (abbey) since 1954.

The easiest way to reach Male, is following the Maalsesteenweg from Sijsele to Bruges.

Worth seeing: castle (abbey), village center with small old farms 



 Damme
 Den Hoorn
 Hoeke
 Lapscheure
 Moerkerke
 Oostkerke
 Sijsele
 Vivenkapelle

 

 

Hendrik De Leyn - www.damme-online.com