Dry Borren castle is to be renovated

Dry Borren castle at Oudergem has been left to deteriorate for many years. But this is soon set to change: the permit for renovation has been granted.

Foto Kasteel Drie FonteinenDry Borren was built in 1329. This makes it the oldest monument in the Sonian Forest. The central building, built in 1410, is still completely intact. In the Middle Ages, it served as the forest prison of Oudergem, where thieves, poachers and highwaymen were sent if they were caught in the Sonian Forest. The castle also functioned as the head office for the gamekeeper and the forest magistrate of the area and, until 1972, the gamekeepers lived at this location in the Sonian Forest with their families.


After restoration in the 1970s, the castle served as an exhibition area but since 1999, the space has not been used and the listed monument has started to deteriorate. The stability of the castle is also under threat as a result of a house fungus that is affecting the rafters.

Roof renovation

The Friends of the Sonian Forest and the municipality of Oudergem have been campaigning for renovation for many years. In 2015, a few emergency repairs were completed and in November 2015, the Brussels Capital Region submitted a permit application. The urban planning permit for the renovation of the roof has recently been issued.

The first phase of restoration has thus been started. The Brussels Capital Region will restore the roof tiles, partially rebuild the structure of the roof and the six skylights and check water drainage and seals.

In a second phase, the Brussels Capital Region will work on the rest of the building. These interventions must stop the building deteriorating further. In the long-term, the castle can be linked to the site of the Rouge-Cloître and the Jean Massart Botanical garden.