The now abandoned Chateau Rochendaal was built in 1881 by Jean Henri Paul Ulens, a former lawyer, for himself and his cousin bride Marie. The property was then seized by the Germans during the Nazi occupation of Belgium. The Castle was apparently once a home for Otto Frieze a famous German Luftwaffe pilot who was known as the ‘Night Hunter’.
Once the Nazi’s were defeated Chateau Rochendaal became a boarding house for Belgian Pilots who were training at the nearby airfields. The Castle was eventually abandoned in 1996 and has stood empty since.
A tired and hung over visit this was the last stop on the epic Pests in vests European tour! Visited with Andy K of Behind Closed Doors, Lowri, Scott of Darbians photography, Stussy and Carl (thanks guys for a truly amazing trip!). Unlike many of the other locations on this trip I had no prior knowledge of this place I hadn’t seen photos and didn’t know what to expect… Sadly this place has seen better days, there is some nice decay but too much vandalism and malicious damage detract from this once beautiful property.
Externally this building is still quite amazing, inside only really the chapel and the main staircase hold much photographic value. You can tell that in its prime some of the features here would have been pretty stunning but its time has passed.
We found out the hard way that this land was still under military occupation when 2 military police officers rocked up and walked in the front door disturbing some of the other group while I was taking some externals… I hadn’t seen them and walked straight in the front door moments after them just in time to see them collaring my fellow explorers. Thankfully they were about as hung over as we were and rather than fill out paper work we were sent on our way with a tired but firm warning not to come back. A great end to a fantastic trip! Enjoy the photos:
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