Castle Park

 

Steps away from the center of Beauraing are the public Saint Pierre Castle Park and the private Sainte-Marie Park where the Castle of Beauraing is located. These two parks are located next to each other and in the past were once one entity.

Saint Pierre Castle

Located near downtown, you can go for a walk in an enchanting setting: the Saint-Pierre Castle Park with its 27 hectares of woods, paths, 7 ponds and a beautiful residence, the Castle built by Charles Lenelle. It is a breathtaking place for walking, fishing, sports (Vita trail) and to relax with its barbecues and rest points. A small arboretum of Calestienne-type trees and shrubs invite you to discover about fifty different forest species. The park belongs to the Town of Beauraing and is open to the public.

While there, you will also see an ancient roman-style chapel (classified monument) dedicated to Saint-Pierre, to whom the park owes its name. Near this chapel you will find an iron statue that was erected by the Duke of Osana in memory of his mother, the Duchess of Beaufort. This statue was once located in the Sainte-Marie Castle Park where the Statue of the Virgin Mary is currently located. At the time of the dukes of Osana, these two parks were one bigger park.

Saint Marie Castle (Le Castel Sainte-Marie)

As mentioned above, the Saint Marie Castle is dominated by the Castle of Beauraing, of which the date of construction probably dates back to the Middle Ages. This first building can actually be placed back to the 12th century. Today, all that remains of the structure are two towers, some walls and the outbuildings of the castle.

Few sources exist for the history of this time period; however, some prominent events can be placed:
During the Middle Ages, Beauraing was a part of the duchy of Luxembourg and its first known lord was Gerard of Beauraing. On May 22, 1438 the castle was destroyed for the first time in a battle against Jehan II of Herbigny and the bishop of Liège.

It was De la Colle, the mayor of Givet, who, with his troops from Sans-Culottes, destroyed the castle for the second time and only ruins remained at the end of the French revolution.

The French architect Mestral was in charge of the restoration that cost the Duke of Osana 300 million at the time. The castle of Beauraing was never more dazzling. In the greenhouse, where vestiges remain today, one could admire plant and shrub specimens from around the world: orange trees, lemon trees, palm trees, cacti…even two monkeys lived there. Guests of honor frequented the castle and in 1880, the prince of Galles, the future king of England, was received there.

When the castle was sold, the furniture was to be sold in Cologne. Workers came to occupy the residence. They brought petrol with them to insure sufficient lighting for packing up the goods and everyone feared a catastrophe. In the middle of the night on December 3, 1889, the castle was set ablaze in several locations. By nine in the morning, only ruins remained.

From 1897 to 1912, the castle was occupied by Mr. Charneux. Ceded to Mr. Matys, the castle was then purchased by Mr. Lenelle. In 1930, he wanted to restore it. The former outbuildings and the tower, which were pretty much intact, were converted to a first-class castle.


 

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