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Stairway to Heaven ... (Led Zeppelin - 1971)

October 17, 2016

Not a very original caption, I agree, but how else to describe this oddity? One of the more recent attractions added in our neighbourhood and one of these unbelievable surprises we still get in our home country, sometimes only a few miles away from where we live. The “Vlooyberg Tower” in Tielt-Winge is an iron stairway built on one of the hills. Weighing in at 30 tons and standing just over 11 m tall, it’s a gravity defying iron construction. Climb to the top and you can see for miles around. In fact the story of the Vlooyberg Tower started a few years ago. On the hill to the west of the Vlooyberg was a wooden lookout tower about four meters in height. Aside from all the youth of Tielt, unfortunately this tower also attracted vandals who irreparably damaged it by setting it on fire. The municipality decided to replace the small wooden tower with a new, monumental object that would be able to withstand the ravages of time. Job well done I would say! 

And while you’re in the neighbourhood also visit the Horst Castle. This moated castle in the green valley of the Wingebeek, stands among the Hageland hills, dates back to the 15th century. The former living rooms, made of brick and sandstone, are mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries. A couple of the rooms also have stucco ceilings created by J.C. Hansche. This is also the “home” of the well-known (world-famous in Flanders) comic book character “The Red Knight”. A special guided tour for children means guaranteed excitement and adventure. A Knights’ Tournament is also held annually. And there are some spectacularly beautiful hikes around the castle. Might want to wear your wellies though as you’re in a part of the Hageland where the underground is soaked with water.

If you walk west (follow the HORST CASTLE WALK) away from the Castle you’ll see the splendid and romantic 17 th century parsonage. Both the Castle & the parsonage are Heritage Sites. End your hike at the Horst Castle grounds again so you can taste a pancake or savour an ice-cream and quench your thirst with a delicious locally brewed Horst Beer at the Wagenhuis tavern.

To prepare and execute our walks in this region and because we're hopeless at directions and would otherwise probably miss all the interesting stuff we use a free APP which you can find here www.wandelknooppunt.be and which is also available in the App Store or the ROUTE YOU for the Netherlands and Belgium.

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