Blaumannbourg Castle, Netherlands




This is a very small castle (some 53 by 48 feet square by 84 feet in height), but very tall, looking down towards Brussels to the west from the Dutch province of Limbourg (source of the famous stinky cheese) near Maastricht. The main feature is the lofty keep tower, with a servants' wing to the north, a gatehouse to the south, and a small courtyard. It started out as a medieval watch tower, but was totally rebuilt into its present form in the 1860s by Hans Blaumann, a German industrialist from Düsseldorf. It was his 'country retreat' (and being in another country, also probably his escape hatch). An extremely ugly building, it is yet a prominent landmark on the heights of Limbourg and is outstanding in the landscape when viewed from Belgium. The Nazis used this building in the Second World War as both a lookout tower and an officers' quarters, but for some reason it was never attacked or bombed. It is now used as an executive training center for the Blaumann Industrial Group, BIG as it is commonly called these days.

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