Events | Kasteel van Loppem

The Jean van Caloen Foundation collaborates regularly on special events, which can be either cultural or popular. The castle hosts both large events and small-scale ones, e.g. a symposium about WWI, temporary exhibitions or the Town & Country Fair. Some have now become an annual tradition, such as the arrival of Saint Nicholas, the Easter egg hunt, vintage car parades, a tour of castles in old horse drawn carriages, and the folk festival.


04.04.2018 - 11.11.2018

an exhibition in the castle on World War I and the village of Loppem.

After having harboured Belgian and British troops, on 14 October 1914, the day on which a four-year occupation begins, Baron Albert van Caloen has to share his castle with senior German officers.

Loppem, which lay between the front and Bruges, suffers under a strict regime during which the German occupier determines, requisitions, prohibits and fines everything. In addition to being the mayor, which means that Albert van Caloen is constantly called to account by the occupier and is enormously concerned about the situation of his fellow villagers, he is also father to three sons fighting at the front. The diaries kept by Albert and his son Jean offer fascinating insight into the events of their everyday lives in Loppem, in Bruges and at the front, as well as their fears and despondency, their fighting spirit and hope that the horror can make way for peace. Other offspring of the family are also examined.

Once the Germans flee on 17 October 1918, a new page is turned.

For almost a month, from 24 October to 21 November 1918, King Albert I, Queen Elisabeth and Crown Prince Leopold reside at Loppem castle. From Loppem, the king leads the Liberation Offensive until the Armistice on 11 November 1918. He also holds consultations at the castle, that lead to the formation of the ‘Loppem government’ on 21 November 1918.

Albert van Caloen rightfully records in his diary: “An unforgettable event that will give our castle historical significance.”

The exposition revolves around the themes “Loppem”, “the Caloen family”, “the occupier”, “the royal family”, “the political story” and “Liberation and heroes, mourning and reconstruction”.

In addition to archive documents that are largely inaccessible and objects from the collection of Loppem castle, there are loans from the Archive of the Royal Palace, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, the BELvue Museum, the municipal archives of Zedelgem, the municipal archives of Bruges and a few private collections.


a colloquium called “Loppem 1918: the King, the Great War and the Social Contract”.

On Saturday 27th October at Loppem Castle there’s a colloquium called “Loppem 1918: the King, the Great War and the Social Contract”. It will be held under the direction of professor Sophie De Schaepdrijver. Six historians will elaborate different aspects of the question.

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