Green Belt - day 2: from Lennik to Tervuren

Kasteel van Gaasbeek

Today, the most beautiful but also the toughest stage of our journey is on the menu. Start by greasing your calves for some tough climbs. You start your day with a major icon. Not the Brabant draught horse, that is one too, but the castle of Gaasbeek. Immediately your eye-catcher of the day.

Be sure to make a short stop at the Basilica of St Martin in Halle for a look at the miraculous black statue of Mary from the centuries-old pilgrimage town. And then it’s time for lunch. Will you opt for the lambik-O-droom that overlooks the barrel room of Brewery 3 Fonteinen? Or will you choose the cosy Bierhuis (beer house) of Geuze brewery Oud Beersel? Choosing is losing!

Fortified by a delicious lambic beer, a little later you pedal through the stately beech avenues of the Sonian Forest towards Hoeilaart, Jezus-Eik and Tervuren.


Did you know that Lambic is still brewed in the same way as it has been for centuries? At night, the brewers open their kettles to the outside air and the wild yeasts from the Zenne Valley work their magic. Geuze is made by mixing old and young Lambic and allowing it to re-ferment in the bottle. “Geuzesteken” (Geuze mixing), that’s what it's called.

Kasteelpark Gaasbeek
Kasteelpark Gaasbeek 2


The dream castle of the Marquise awakens

It was her dream castle, her romantic retreat where Marquise Arconati Visconti invited politicians, writers and scientists for long, animated conversations. She adorned the walls with her vast art collection, giving the castle something of a historical theatre backdrop. Tough and medieval outside, frivolous neo-Renaissance within. When she felt her end approaching, she wanted her castle to live on. So she donated it to the Belgian state.

Marquise Arconati Visconti died on 3 May 1923. And now, a century later, the castle is waking up after a three-year beauty sleep. Admire the meticulously reconstructed murals in the rooms, corridors and halls that were painted over for years. Your visit begins in the brand new, modern reception pavilion at the edge of the beautiful castle park.

Tip! In 2023, the castle will be paying a unique tribute to the striking Marquise of Gaasbeek, in which the present and past merge loosely into one another. Let her dream world completely enchant you.

Open from 1 July 2023 to 5 November 2023. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Mondays.