Location Hullebrug

The Hullebrug farmhouse

Located on the border Bevel/Nijlen near the Kruiskensberg Chapel (old pilgrimage) in the region where the Brabant exuberance merges with the modesty of the region Kempen (triangle Lier, Heist op den Berg, Herentals).

Formerly it was a residential area of farms and the Hullebrug farmhouse served as a central place for blacksmith, brewery, inn, farm, stables, transfer station and ferry. In earlier times there even was a water mill.


Hullebrug is Itegem territory, part of Heist op den Berg where every Sunday morning there is a busy general market with antiques and curiosities. Downstream you approach the old town LIER (10km) - the "Lierke-Plezierke" of Pallieter.

The Hullebrug's history

How it once was

Driving through the gate of the Hullebrug farmhouse means also participating in the rich history of this ancient farm, near castles and manor farms and in the glorious past of the town Itegem. Located next to the river Grote Nete, from the B&B rooms, you overlook this river once so important for the residents of the region1. The river was indeed the lifeline that determined the fortunes of rich and poor, of peasant and lord and of all families. Transshipment points and ferry services benefited trade.

The name Hullebrug covers both the farms and the bridge over the Nete and the surrounding lands. Also called Helleveer and later Hellebrug, we can more likely identify the origin with Hillebrugh or Hillebroeck, low meadows next to a hill, mound or slope (Kruiskensberg). The history of Itegem and Hullebrug is closely intertwined. The Lords of Itegem, the castles and manor estates and strategic location in the Nete Valley, made this an important region for the far outlying farmhouses.

The first traces of Hullebrug we find around 1312. Later, the Lords of Itegem were owners: Bert Wood, Goose Acker, Van Reynegom Van Immersee, last century even Pouppez the Kettenis from Lier.
Hullebrug was often a defensive point of foreign armies who camped there during the many occupations: French, Prussians, Austrians, Dutchmen , Germans, etc. Thus, the buildings of the sister farm Ter Hille were severely damaged when the bridge was blown up to stop returning German armies.
Up to +/-1600, a water mill was in use, located between Hullebrug and Castle Rameyen (where once Rubens' second son lived). Anno 2010 Hullebrug is a kangaroo home for the Claes family (two sons) from Nijlen, which - in addition to its busy, business activities – runs a bed & breakfast, with respect for authenticity, tradition and nature.

(1) Cas Goossens (honorary chairman of the VRT television) wrote a book about his village Itegem, how it used to be and he likes to tell about the river Nete.

Felix Timmermans

Felix Timmermans is an important author in the Dutch language. In 1920 he received the State Prize for Flemish Literature. His work was published in 26 languages. He immortalized his hometown LIER, at the confluence of the rivers Grote and Kleine Nete (Big and Small Nete), as a romantic place full of life and gentle nostalgia, as the perfect fusion of Brabant exuberance and modesty of the region Kempen.
"...Where the winding NETHEN form a silver knot, where suddenly the fat bellied, abundant Brabant separates itself from the musing, thin Kempenland, there it is!"

The rooms in our B & B are named after the characters in the work of Felix Timmermans: 'Pallieter & Marieke', 'Mr Pirroen', 'Juffrouw Symforosa', 'Minneke Kat', 'de Frisine'.

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17th century farm

Breakfast room

Rural area