Stories Unfold


Revaluing heritage at The Rubens Castle

By 2030, Tourism Flanders wants to develop a network of castles, domains and gardens. In the run-up to that, it is now launching the first edition of the "revaluation festival" Stories unfold. The intention is to hold an edition every two years at a changing location. Rubens Castle, also known as "The Stone," may welcome Stories Unfold as its first venue. 

In previous years, the Rubens Castle has already laid a solid foundation for the future of the estate through a participation process with experts and local residents. With Stories Unfold we now want to experiment further. What works and what doesn't? After all, we want to pass on that knowledge and inspire others with it. 

During this unique event you will find a diverse range of cultural activities, culinary experiences and local initiatives. Stories Unfold encourages organizations and businesses in the neighborhood to use the location, thus making the project a contribution to the community. 

After all, Flanders' historical heritage is what makes our region unique. It not only reflects our rich history, but is also one of our most important tourist assets. Countless heritage sites tell centuries-old stories. We want to cherish them. That is why we are looking for a new use for some of these special places, including Rubens Castle, under the heading 'Reallocating together'. A future for our centuries-old heritage that connects seamlessly with the soul of these places. So that they continue to add value for everyone.

This initiative not only boosts the national profile of Flemish estates, but also puts them on the map internationally. It invites everyone to share knowledge, it brings estate owners and operators closer together, and it increases local involvement. We are proud to contribute to the knowledge and (re)valuation of Flemish estates, and to put sustainability on the agenda within the estate network.


The Rubens Castle is located in a green and fragile environment. Therefore, Stories Unfold adheres to the highest possible sustainability standards. The pavilion is a prime example of circular construction (see also the pavilion page), but there’s more:

  • We’ve installed composting toilets to save water.
  • We measure and offset our carbon emissions.
  • We reduce waste to an absolute minimum and separate it.
  • We monitor our energy consumption (100% green via a fixed grid) and measure CO2, particulate matter and noise levels.
  • Our catering material is 100% reusable; 90% of the meals we serve are vegetarian or vegan, and we limit food waste.
  • We collaborate with circular partners to make sure that reusable materials like banners, flags and wooden planks get a second life after the event.
  • All parties involved – from organisers to suppliers, and from artists to employees – signed an ECO charter.

Stories Unfold is an event for and by visitors. Months before its kick-off, we started initiating close collaborations with the neighbourhood, involving young and old, and we launched several local and regional initiatives. These collaborations will last throughout the event.

Stories Unfold wants to be an accessible and open space where everyone feels at home and can be themselves.