The story of Hof ter Saksen dates back to the Middle Ages, at which time a hostel and farm building stood where a castle was constructed centuries later in the 1700s.
The castle was known by many names, including “Het Schaak,” “Het Goed Schaeckx,” and “Saeckx” before being dubbed Hof ter Saksen, which means Court of the Saxony.
Prior to a 2004 renovation, the castle that stood in this East Flanders park sat empty for an indeterminate period of time as the surrounding woods threatened to swallow it whole. Trees grew from within the castle causing portions of the roof to collapse.
The renovation involved a complete rebuild of the castle, along with a total overhaul of the park, and the addition of several new features. These included an orangerie with a cafeteria, a nature garden, an ice house, and a large apple orchard. The arboretum founded by the Decalut family in 1980 was expanded to include over 4,500 plants.
The park is also filled with trees, including some remarkably large catalpas and other uncommon species. It is said to be a favorite spot for birdwatchers.
Know Before You Go
A pre-renovation image of Hof ter Saksen appeared on a picture disc 7" record by Swedish dark ambient/industrial project Deutsch Nepal on a 1997 release on the German record label Ant-Zen, entitled "Environment."