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The Palace of Margaret of Austria is something you should definitely make time for when you are visiting Mechelen, Belgium. It was built in 1507 by architect  Rombout II Keldermans, to be a residence for Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands. It is a mixture of architectural styles, but manages to pull itself together and be an imposing and yet beautiful building.

The rear of the palace is partly traditional late-Gothic style, but the gatehouse (one of the first buildings to go up) was done in the Renaissance style of the Northern countries. The gatehouse was created and designed by a French architect from Savoie, Guy de Beaugrant. Beaugrant was personally appointed as palace architect by Margaret of Austria. Interesting note: Emperor Charles V was a young lad at the court of his Aunt Margaret. After her death, the palace became the residence of Cardinal Granvelle (1616-1795). The palace has been used as Court of Law since 1796.

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