“On Monday (September 22, 2008), a famous 800-year-old Belgian castle will be auctioned off by court order to the highest bidder, and it looks as if someone could snag a real bargain.”

On that date, the third and final session for the public sale of the historic castle, Corroy-le-Château, will occur. The castle, situated just south of Brussels, is surrounded by a moat and borders a 12-hectare, protected park.

With walls and seven massive original towers dating to the 13th century, the property’s pristine condition makes it one of Europe’s only remaining perfectly-preserved castles. It has the popular architecture of medieval dark ages and is full of secret passages and mysterious moats.

Inhabited today by the same family descended from the original owners, the castle has undergone continuous transformation over the centuries and has been maintained in immaculate condition, preserving both its mythical quality and modern comfort throughout its 5,000 square meters of habitable space.

The castle’s status as a historic landmark provides the additional benefit of eligibility for government subsidies for any major work. Its majestically decorated parlors, beautiful corridors, bright interiors and sweeping staircases continue to attract touring groups and cultural performers, offering the possibility of dual use as both a residence and commercial endeavor.

A family dispute between the existing owners over the use of the castle culminated in a court decision which led eventually to the castle’s sale by public auction. The first two rounds of bidding yielded a current offer of €2.1 million ($3million), the International Herald Tribune reports, an astonishingly low price in view of current European real estate values.

The September 22 auction session will be the last time that bids will be accepted for Corroy-le-Château. The 16,000-sq.ft. fortress will be sold to the highest bidder, even if it goes no higher than the €2.1 million, a spokesman said.

More information on the auction, as well as a video tour of the property, can be found on the castle’s Web site.

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