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Blauwhuis Castle

Historical place

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This beautiful neoclassical castle is given its current form in the 1880s, but has a much longer history – it is mentioned for the first time in 1544. It is listed as a monument in 1981.

In the 18th century the farm located here is converted into a castle. It is given a roof of blue slate, hence the name Blauwhuis or ‘blue house’. The castle is altered by its successive owners until it gets its current form in 1880.

From the late 18th century the castle belongs to the noble family of Gillès de Pélichy. This family plays an important role in Izegem’s social history. During the food crisis in the 1840s the family for example distributes bread and in 1898 they finance the construction of the neo-Gothic Guildhall on Kruisstraat, a meeting place for workers.

The most committed member of the family is Charles Gillès de Pélichy (1872-1958), who is sometimes called the red baron because he is so concerned about the fate of the Izegem workers. In 1900 he even decides to represent them in the Chamber of Representatives. This is the time of universal suffrage with plural voting rights: each male adult is entitled to one vote, but rich people can get up to two additional votes. In practice this means that workers can never get elected themselves. So they need to rely on wealthy, socially committed people such as the red baron.

The Gillès de Pélichy family continues to live in the castle until 1984. The building is now used as a restaurant and a party hall.

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Address

Kasteelwijk 3
8870 Izegem
Belgium

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