Daytrip from Bruges: How to visit the Loppem Castle

The Loppem Castle stands as a testament to architectural mastery, historical significance, and captivating art collections. Its neo-Gothic charm and meticulous craftsmanship are awe-inspiring. Exploring the castle’s rooms filled with extraordinary art pieces allows one to delve into the passions and legacies of the Van Caloen family. A visit to this enchanting castle is a journey through time, where history, art, and architecture intertwine seamlessly. The Loppem Castle is not merely a structure; it is a living legacy that beckons us to unravel its tales and cherish the beauty of a bygone era.

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About Loppem Castle

This exquisite castle, situated near Bruges in a rural setting, stands amidst a charming English garden. The picturesque landscape encompasses ancient trees, tranquil ponds, and even a captivating labyrinth, creating a romantic atmosphere. Constructed in the period between 1858 and 1863, the castle showcases the prevailing architectural style of that time, known as Neo-Gothic, making it a remarkable and distinctive landmark.

Originally, Baron Charles van Caloen and Countess Savina de Gourcy Serainchamps entrusted the castle’s design to Edward Welby Pugin, an English architect. However, later on, the project was taken over by Jean Bethune. The castle’s interiors beautifully complement the architectural style. Local craftsmen exhibited their exceptional skill and attention to detail in every aspect of the castle, from the furniture to the stained glass windows, chandeliers, stairs, and fireplaces. The result is a testament to their craftsmanship and adds to the overall splendor of the castle.

The historical importance of the Loppem Castle is significant. In 1918, it served as a residence for King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth. It was at Loppem Castle where the “Government of Loppem” gathered to announce three revolutionary edicts. These proclamations included the establishment of universal suffrage for men, the Dutchification of the University of Ghent, and the recognition of trade union freedom. These groundbreaking declarations played a crucial role in shaping the course of history and advancing social progress.

Furthermore, the castle holds an extensive art collection, collected by Baron Jean van Caloen (1884-1972), the grandson of Charles. With a keen eye for art, Baron Jean gathered a diverse collection encompassing medieval sculptures, Flemish paintings, stoneware from Raeren and Westerwald, Mechelen alabasters, Portuguese ivories, illuminated manuscripts, prints, and drawings. These treasured collections find their home primarily on the first floor of the castle, where they are thoughtfully exhibited in a setting reminiscent of a museum. Among the remarkable treasures in the collection, one can find a mesmerizing sculpture of a holy bishop dating back to around 1520, skillfully crafted by Jan Borman. Another standout piece is a breathtaking stained glass window showcasing a Pieta, a masterpiece intricately fashioned by Vrancke van der Stockt around 1460. These noteworthy artworks truly captivate the imagination and offer a glimpse into the artistic brilliance of their respective creators.

Baron Roland van Caloen (1920-2014), following in the footsteps of his father Jean, held a deep appreciation for art, with a special focus on books. He also embraced a spirit of adventure, he embarked on journeys across nearly all continents. Within the castle, two upper rooms are dedicated to presenting enlarged versions of Baron Roland’s photographs, capturing his worldly experiences. Additionally, these rooms also exhibit a curated selection from his collection of Asian and ethnic art, comprised of numerous pieces acquired during his explorations.


Buy tickets for Loppem Castle

The admission fee for Loppem Castle is €8 for adults, while children aged 4 to 18 pay €4. Children under 4 years old can enter for free. Additionally, access to the Maze requires an additional fee of €2. Purchase your tickets for Loppem Castle: here!

Walking in Loppem Castle

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the castle in the romantic English-style park. Within the park, there are three walking loops available, offering a range of distances from 1.5 to 3 kilometers to choose from.

The Maze of Loppem Castle

Loppem Castle, not only boasts magnificent rooms and stunning gardens but also features an enchanting maze, created in 1873 and designed by the young Albert and Ernest van Caloen, that adds an element of mystery and adventure to its already captivating ambiance. The maze at Loppem Castle invites visitors to lose themselves in a world of intrigue, providing a delightful and immersive experience.

The entrance fee for the maze is 2 euros, and it is open exclusively from April until the end of October.

Best time to visit the Loppem Castle

The Castle is open for visits from Monday till Saturday (closed on sun- and holidays, except during school vacations), year-round, with opening hours from 13:00 to 17:30. Please note that the last admission is permitted 30 minutes before closing time. However, it is important to allocate more than 30 minutes for a satisfactory visit to this magnificent castle. Additionally, the castle maze is only accessible from April until the end of October. (Closed on mondays) Buy your ticket here!

How to travel to the Loppem Castle by Public Transport?

The Loppem Castle is easily accessible by public transportation, with frequent bus services running from Bruges. To reach the Loppem Castle by public transportation, you can head to bus stop “Brugge Station Perron 6” located near the train station of Bruges. There, you can board bus number “72“, which is a direct bus heading in the direction of “Zedelgem – Merkemveld”. The bus departs twice every hour at 12 and 42 minutes past the hour, and its 10th stop is the “Loppem Sportcentrum” located next to the castle park, cross the street to enter Loppem Castle.

Please note that the bus timings mentioned above are for weekdays, during the weekends there is only one bus leaving at 12 past the hour.

Visit Loppem Castle by Bicycle from Bruges

Loppem Castle is conveniently located just 5.4 kilometers away from Bruges train station, making it easily accessible. It’s a delightful bicycle ride through the village and the scenic Claeys forest. Depending on your fitness level, the journey typically takes around half an hour.

For Belgian locals or individuals planning to explore Belgium by bicycle, signing up with Blue-bike is highly recommended. Blue-bike offers affordable bicycle rentals at over 100 locations throughout Belgium. The starting cost is €12, with bicycle rentals available from €1.50 for the first 24 hours.

Find more information about how to use Blue-bike in Belgium: here!

Parking your car at Loppem Castle

Loppem Castle offers free, limited on-site parking facilities, making it the most convenient option for visitors. A designated parking area is available within walking distance from the castle entrance, ensuring easy access. Arriving early in the day is recommended to secure a spot, especially during peak tourist seasons. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 51.157329 and E 3.205038.

Loppem Castle with camper

There is a complimentary camper parking area nearby at Sint-Aarnoutstraat 8211, Zedelgem, Belgium. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 51.113365 and E 3.089972. Please note that the available spaces are limited.

Where to stay near Loppem Castle

Bruges is a charming city located approximately 5 kilometers northeast of Loppem Castle. It offers a wide range of hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfasts to suit various budgets. Staying in Bruges allows you to explore the castle during the day and enjoy the city’s historic atmosphere in the evenings.

B&B Kasteelhof van Loppem: is a charming bed and breakfast located within walking distance of Loppem Castle, With cozy rooms, delicious breakfasts, and friendly hosts, B&B Kasteelhof van Loppem is the perfect choice for nature lovers seeking a relaxing escape.

Snuffel Youth Hostel is a vibrant and welcoming hostel located in the heart of the enchanting city of Bruges, this hostel offers a comfortable and affordable accommodation option for travelers from all over the world. The hostel provides a range of room types, from shared dormitories to private rooms, catering to different preferences and budgets.

For a wider selection of accommodations in Bruges, we recommend exploring

If you need assistance with booking accommodations, we recommend reading our How to use guide.

Travel itinerary for Loppem Castle from Bruges

Bus: [72 – direction: Zedelgem – Merkemveld] 13:12 Brugge Station Perron 6 – 13:28 Loppem Sportcentrum.
Walk: Cross the street and walk into the castle park, Loppem Castle is a 350-meter walk.
Walk: Walk the same way back, the bus stop is located at the castle side of the street.
Bus: [72 – direction: Brugge Station] 17:04 Loppem Sportcentrum – 17:22 Brugge Station.

In case you miss that bus, the next one is scheduled for 17:33. It’s important to note that this travel schedule is applicable on weekdays. During weekends, there is a reduced frequency with only one bus per hour, returning at 03 past the hour. To plan your own itinerary and purchase train tickets, please visit NMBS. To purchase bus tickets, please visit De Lijn.

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