Chateau frozen in time

Chateau de la Foret

Frozen in time – inside the derelict Belgian castle where the beds are still made, despite being abandoned more than 20 years ago.

Chateau de la Foret, in Belgium, has been unoccupied since the 1990s, but traces of the lives of the former occupiers can be found in every room.

The castle is full of priceless antique furniture, crystal chandeliers and even dusty old clothes.

The walls of the grand chateau are adorned with decaying oil paintings, moth-eaten tapestries and crumbling frescoes.

It has fallen into disrepair ever since the owner died leaving the castle to his descendants, who cannot decide on who should live there.

Urban explorer Maikal Goossens, 21, photographed the lavish interior of the forsaken castle.

Mr Goossens, of Turnhout, Belgium, said: “When I entered the chateau it was like being teleported back in time – everything was pretty well preserved.

“I could hear the sound of wood creaking when I walked over it. Every sound I made was amplified by the enormous rooms in the chateau.

“At first it was pretty scary walking around in there, but I got used to it.”

The grand castle is flanked by four corner towers and is fortified by four octagonal turrets on top of the towers.

The opulent chateau, in Moulbaix, Hainaut, western Belgium, has 344 windows and is surrounded by 62 acres of land.

Mr Goossens, who works in an ice cream factory, said: “I was amazed every time I opened a door and found what was in the room behind it.

“There was a large vault and a secret staircase which led from the bathroom to the library.

“The dining room was very well decorated with chandeliers and a big tapestry.

“The main entrance was made of marble including the whole main staircase – it was incredible.”

Chateau de la Foret is not technically abandoned. The castle was left to the descendants of Count d’Ursel Aymard.

According to local legend, the descendants cannot decide on a single owner, so the house has been left to fall into disrepair. It has reportedly been abandoned since the 1990s.

The original building was built in 1502 – but much of the original house and feudal fortress was replaced in 1860 by the current building.

The current castle was built in a neo-Tudor style by the order of the Marquis Du Chasteler Oswald.

Mr Goossens explored Chateau de La Foret in January this year.

More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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