Picture: Ryckevelde castle in Sijsele .  

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Ryckevelde castle

Location: Holleweg, 8340 Sijsele [gps]
Accessibility: the domain is open to the public, the castle itself is not accesible

The Ryckevelde domain is situated at the border of the village of Sijsele, in the direction of Bruges.  It is the largest wood on the territory of Damme.  Here we are no longer in the polder area but in the sandy region.  This region is by defenition much older than the rest of Damme.  The area around Ryckevelde was already inhabited in prehistoric times.

The castle itself is fairly recent and is in a pretty good shape.  The neogothic architecture already reveals the era in which it was built.  Baron Gilles de Pélichy ordered its construction; the residence was erected between 1913 and 1929.  Centrally the spiky tower catches the attention, a chapel is located in the left wing.  At the back side there is a spacious garden with a big pond.  from one of the numerous benches along the footpath you have a splendid view on the ensemble.

The oldest building of the domain is situated at the other side of the pond.  The fortified farm dates back to the 17th century but is largely in a very bad condition except for the right side.  This farm has a few remarkable characteristics you'd rather expect in a real castle.  At the domain, friar Verleye founded the European Education centre in the 50's of the previous century. 

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