Kasteel Borghof - Tongeren

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History & restoration

Designed by Studiebureau Monumentenzorg bvba
commissioned by architecture firm De Gregorio & Partners

The castle Borghof domain is located in the corner of the Koenderstraatje and the Lankgracht in Piringen, borough of Tongeren. The property is situated near the toponym Tomveld, which may indicate the presence of a (Roman) cemetery.

The exact date of construction of the castle is impossible to determine because no data are preserved in the municipal archives of Tongeren. As a terminus post quem, however, the map of the count de Ferraris from the period 1771-1777 can be used, because on this map, there are no buildings visible and the Koenderstraatje is also not shown.

Mr Julliot, servant of Napoleon, born in 1795 and deceased in 1881, married in 1819 with Françoise De Rigo (born in 1802 in Tongeren). They had two daughters, one of whom married a certain de Rosen. They had two sons, including Charles de Rosen who was born on September 4, 1843. It is generally believed that he had built a country house in Piringen, the Borghof castle.

This is contradicted by the few historical documents that are available and the building must be previously situated with his parents or grandfather. In the atlas of the local roads of the 40s of the 19th century, the building is already shown. On this map the building is well described as Borghof of Mr. Juillen, which may be a corruption of the name Julliot (the older people of Tongeren still call the castle today “Castle Jullien” – pronounced J as a French G).

Also on the primitive register, which was made in the early 40s of the 19th century, the building is reported. This involves the plots 164 and 164bis. Plot 164 is the more or less U-shaped farmhouse with inner courtyard and access road to the Koenderstraatje. Plot 164bis includes the castle.

On the mutation sketch from 1863 plots 164 and 164bis are merged into one parcel, 164a. Insofar as visible in this mutation sketch there are no adjustments made to the building stock. Whether merging the two lots was the work of Charles de Rosen or his father is untraceable.

Charles de Rosen marries Mrs. Hougaerts. In the sudden death of her brother, Charles de Rosen and his wife take care about the two children Albert and Marie-Thérèse. At a given moment Marie-Therese is adopted by the couple and so she becomes the heir of Charles de Rosen. Throughout his life, Charles de Rosen had some more substantial work done to castle Borghof and its farm, and for the current view of the buildings to a large extent he was responsible. On the mutation sketch from 1872 the farm was in some places extended. The access road to the castle is vaulted with a new gatehouse. At that time, there is little change to the castle itself, just a small square stair tower is added. Plot 164a is renumbered as 164b.

The most significant construction works on the castle are visible on the mutation sketch of 1891. Part of the farm buildings disappear, leaving the castle free again. Also some ancient castle buildings are demolished. During this renovation, the castle tower is being built. Plot 164b is split into lots 164c (castle) and 164d (farm).

This picture illustrates the situation before the renovation in 1891.

This picture illustrates the situation after the renovation in 1891.

From the period between 1906 and 1920, the year of the death of Charles de Rosen, who meanwhile received the title Baron Rosen the Dilsen du Saint Empire, some notebooks are preserved which give a look at the management of the domain of the baron. A first booklet includes the valuations of all properties of baron Charles de Rosen. The total value of the castle estate is estimated at 61,700 francs (folio 36). The castle (plot 164c) is estimated at 16,000 francs and the farm courtyard, stables and barn (plot 164d) at 6,000 francs. The plots 160, 163, 167b and 169a together are estimated at 10,000 francs. The orchard on the plot 118b is worth 28,200 francs and the garden on the plot 166 1,900 francs.
In the book Tomveld 1re Partie R1 the data per parcel are noted in connection with rental income. Most plots of the castle grounds were not rented, except plots 118b (data between 1906 and 1920, folio 6 7), 167b (data between 1906 and 1913, folio 4) and 168a (data between 1906 and 1920, folio 8). Furthermore, a number of similar books is preserved with the rental income per plot . A map book is saved with poplar plantations commissioned by Marie-Thérèse, who was married in the meantime with the Italian physician Alfredo Massano.
After the death of her husband on May 16, 1920, his widow moved to Turin where she moves in with her adopted daughter Marie-Thérèse. Baroness de Rosen died on August 19, 1953 and is buried in Piringen. Marie-Thérèse inherits the castle Borghof. A mutation sketch from 1970 shows that she let demolish the building on plot 165a and this empty plot is added to 164d, which wasn’t renumbered. As part of a new global survey in 1991, the plot 164d is however renumbered 164e.

Upon the death of Marie-Thérèse on March 28, 2000 , her only daughter Silvana Massano inherits Castle Borghof. On October 1, 2007 she sold the castle to the architecture firmde Gregrorio & Partners from Hasselt.