Characters who were here

who lived in the castle and walked in this magnificent building?

Guillaume Claes

He was born in Hasselt in 1752. He played along with the French from the start. He was a justice of the peace in Hasselt and then the prefect of the Department of the Lower Meuse. At the end of the 18th century he bought the castle that became a beautiful residence for Claes and his descendants for two centuries. Claes also bought other properties. For example he and Pierre de Liboton became the owners of the Abbey of Herkenrode that was transformed in part for industrial purpose and in part as beautiful residence. Guillaume died in 1841.

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Servaas van Dijck

He was born in 1711 in Gemert, a domain of the Teutonic Order. He was admitted to the Order as a priest in Nieuwen Biesen. At Alden Biesen he kept the accounts of the income and expenditure of the Landcommanderij Kitchen, the church and the hospital. This master of the guesthouse was very sloppy in his task. He very often simply omitted to write down the payments, deliveries and hand-outs to the poor, so that it was impossible to keep track of the bookkeeping and compliance with all obligations. In 1718 a direct order from the Land Commander compelled him to return everything to a state of order. When the accounts has been settled Van Dijck was moved to a neighboring parish.

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Heinrich von Reuschenberg

He was born in 1572. He was an important Teutonic Knight, that was responsible for the construction and reorganization of many headquarters of the Teutonic Order in Belgium. He became the main player in the economic reorganization of the province of Biesen and in spiritual reform in accordance with the Counter Reformation. He died in 1603 in Köln and his tomb was laid to rest in the Carmelite Church in Cologne.

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Godfried Huyn Van Geleen

He was born in Maastricht around 1590. This young orphan was brought up by a relative, Land Commander Edmond Huyn van Amstenraedt. Geleen has a successful military career during the Third Years War. From 1639 until his death, he was field marshal of the emperor’s armies and the army of Bavaria. In 1634, he succeeded his guardian as Land Commander of Alden Biesen. He only resided at the Land Commandery during the last decade of his life. He suffered badly from gout – probably caused by his military career – and he died in Aachen in 1657. He has the gate tower built and completed the construction of the castle chapel which his predecessor had begun. The two Huyns now rest under the same tombstone in the middle of the choir of the church of Alden Biesen.

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Edmond Godfried von Bocholtz

He was born in 1615 and came from an influential family in the city of Liège. His blazon, three leopard’s haeds, divided in quarters with the the cross of the Teutonic Order, can be seen on many stones in Alden Biesen. He was a very religious and charitable man He was also a dine politician and endeavoured to expand his territory around the Land Commandery for the Teutonic Order. His expansion was very expensive and he only succeeded in partially achieving his goals. He died in 1690 after a reign of 33 years as Land Commander. He lies near the Commander’s seat in the choir of the church of Alden Biesen.

Franz von Reischach

He was born in 1784 by an Austrian family of diplomats who maintained special relations with the court of Vienna. Untile 1787, he was the emperor’s ambassador in the Hague. As Land Commander, he restored law and order to the bailiwick, which had been neglected for decades. However, the arrival of the French revolutionaries prevented him from reaping the fruits of his policy. In 1794, he fled to Vienna from where he continued to manage what was left of the bailiwick.

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