The Castle of Mesen, situated in a park area near the center of a small city Lede, named after the last owner,
the Royal Institute of Messines, after the First World War a new school was founded here in place of the institute in Messines which was completely destroyed during the war.
The walled area covers an area of 7.5 hectares, of which about one third is occupied by the present building complex. The domain was in the 10th century the location for successive lords of Lede. From the 16th to the 18th century it was owned by the Bette family. From this period dates the 18th century marquisat (1749), designed by the famous Florentine architect Giovanni Niccolo Servandoni and orangery with stables. In the course of the 19th century, the complex was mainly used for industrial purposes and were a distillery, a sugar or tobacco housed. In 1897 the castle was owned by the domain of the Sisters of Kannunikessen Jupille. They built the main volume, especially the from 1905 dating neo-Gothic chapel with school complex. After the First World War, the site was owned by the Royal Institution of Messines, an institution from the time of Maria Theresa, who raised children of fallen or disabled soldiers. In 1921 the buildings where renovated and was the "Dutch Pavilion” build and founded with Dutch money. The park around these buildings is a typical example of an idealized landscape. Until the 60s "The Messines”, as the complex is called in local Lede, did become an elite boarding school. Exclusively in French given lessons The Royal Institute of Messines decided to cancel the lessons and to abandon the complex because Dutch was made the legislation language. Since then the buildings stand empty, robbed (there are indications that the decline was provoked by removing roof tiles, windows and doors) and quickly fallen into decline becomming a ruin!
In 1979 the Castle of Mesen was protected as a monument, but because of procedural errors that protection was undone in the following year. A new recent application for protection as a monument was not feasible. The refusal was due to the poor state of the buildings and the fear of high restoration costs.