In the beginning of the 12th century, the troops of the Duke of Brabant came face tot face with the troops of Meise, the 'Milites de Menza'. Both strongholds became water castles surrounded with a park. Meise Castle burnt down totally during the Second World War. Bouchout Castle has been altered many times; only the square tower, the eldest part of the castle, dates of the 14th century. The Empress Charlotte, the sister of King Leopold II, and widow of the executed Emperor of Mexico, lived here almost her entire life. The present architecture dates from 1830, the interior from 1980. Nowadays Bouchout Castle is used for meetings, lectures and exhibitions.