Chimay Castle

Château de Chimay

Chimay Castle, locally known as Château de Chimay, lies in the town of the same name, in the province of Hainaut in the Wallonia region in Belgium.

The site of Chimay Castle, a rocky promontory overlooking a crossing of the Eau Blanche river, was first used in the 9th century when a church and a Carolingian villa were built here. The site gradually turned into a fortified castle during the next centuries.

Around 1222 the castle passed to the House of Soissons through marriage. They kept it until 1317 when, again through marriage, it passed to Jean de Beaumont, Count of Hainaut. Later that century it passed to the Blois-Chatillon family.

In 1434, Chimay Castle was bought by Jean II de Croÿ, who then became Count of Chimay. In 1486 the County of Chimay was raised to a Principality by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I. The De Croÿ's held the castle and principality until 1612 when it passed to the House of Alensberg. Around 1600 Charles III de Croÿ had turned the castle into a sumptous palace.

Severely damaged by Spanish troops led by John Joseph of Austria and later French troops led by Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Viscount of Turenne, during wars and by fires in the third quarter of the 17th century the castle was dilapidated and its defenses destroyed. So when in 1686 it was inherited by the Hénin-Liétard family they could not inhabit it. They owned until 1804 when it passed to the Riquet de Caraman family through inheritance. They restored it during the 19th century only to have it destroyed by a devastating fire in 1935. Their descendants, who are still Princes and Princesses of Chimay, own the castle to this day.

At present Chimay Castle is private property but can be visited for a fee. Sadly enough it was closed due to Covid19-restrictions when I visited, so I will have to return one day.


Gallery

Chimay Castle

Château de Chimay

Chimay Castle, locally known as Château de Chimay, lies in the town of the same name, in the province of Hainaut in the Wallonia region in Belgium.

The site of Chimay Castle, a rocky promontory overlooking a crossing of the Eau Blanche river, was first used in the 9th century when a church and a Carolingian villa were built here. The site gradually turned into a fortified castle during the next centuries.

Around 1222 the castle passed to the House of Soissons through marriage. They kept it until 1317 when, again through marriage, it passed to Jean de Beaumont, Count of Hainaut. Later that century it passed to the Blois-Chatillon family.

In 1434, Chimay Castle was bought by Jean II de Croÿ, who then became Count of Chimay. In 1486 the County of Chimay was raised to a Principality by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I. The De Croÿ's held the castle and principality until 1612 when it passed to the House of Alensberg. Around 1600 Charles III de Croÿ had turned the castle into a sumptous palace.

Severely damaged by Spanish troops led by John Joseph of Austria and later French troops led by Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Viscount of Turenne, during wars and by fires in the third quarter of the 17th century the castle was dilapidated and its defenses destroyed. So when in 1686 it was inherited by the Hénin-Liétard family they could not inhabit it. They owned until 1804 when it passed to the Riquet de Caraman family through inheritance. They restored it during the 19th century only to have it destroyed by a devastating fire in 1935. Their descendants, who are still Princes and Princesses of Chimay, own the castle to this day.

At present Chimay Castle is private property but can be visited for a fee. Sadly enough it was closed due to Covid19-restrictions when I visited, so I will have to return one day.


Gallery