Florennes Castle

Château de Florennes

Florennes Castle, locally known as Château de Florennes or Château de Beaufort, lies in the town of Florennes, in the province of Namur in the Wallonia region in Belgium.

Florennes Castle dates back to the mid-9th century when a wooden fortification was built on a rocky ridge west of the village. This wooden fortress was replaced by a stone castle a century later. In 1070 the castle, until then having belonged to the local count, became a stronghold of the Principality of Liège. It was then occupied by the Rumigny family, vassals of Liège, until the late 13th century.

In 1281 the castle passed to Theobald of Lorraine through marriage. Theobald would become Duke of Lorraine as Theobald II in 1303.

The castle was badly damaged during a siege in 1408. Starting in 1417 Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, undertook work that included building a terrace and, in 1425, laying out a park. Damaged again during a siege in 1430, the castle and the town of Florennes were fortified around 1465 with ditches, bastions and other defensive works. These walls still existed in 1517, and the castle was accessible by a drawbridge. The House of Lorraine remained owner of the castle until 1556.

In 1556 ownership of the castle passed to the House of Glymes-Jodoigne. Queen consort of Navarre Margaret of Valois sought refuge in Florennes Castle in 1577.

The fortifications of the castle and town of Florennes were demolished on the order of Louis XIV of France in 1704 but in the 1740's some towers of the castle were still reported to be intact.

The castle passed from the Glyme's to the Beaufort-Spontin family in 1771. In 1794, during the French Revolution, the castle was confiscated and Frederic Augustus Alexander, the Duke of Beaufort-Spontin, fled the country. After the restoration of the monarchy in 1814 the castle was returned to the Beaufort-Spontin family. They sold it in 1893 but their name stuck to the castle.

In 1902 it was bought by French Jesuits who used it as a college. During WW I the castle was first used as a hospital by the French and later by the Germans. The German forces returned in 1940 and the castle was occupied by the Luftwaffe until 1944. Then it was taken into use by American troops. In 1950 the castle was sold by the Jesuits and it was turned into a public school.

At present Florennes Castle is partly used primary school. Its exterior can freely be visited.


Gallery

Florennes Castle

Château de Florennes

Florennes Castle, locally known as Château de Florennes or Château de Beaufort, lies in the town of Florennes, in the province of Namur in the Wallonia region in Belgium.

Florennes Castle dates back to the mid-9th century when a wooden fortification was built on a rocky ridge west of the village. This wooden fortress was replaced by a stone castle a century later. In 1070 the castle, until then having belonged to the local count, became a stronghold of the Principality of Liège. It was then occupied by the Rumigny family, vassals of Liège, until the late 13th century.

In 1281 the castle passed to Theobald of Lorraine through marriage. Theobald would become Duke of Lorraine as Theobald II in 1303.

The castle was badly damaged during a siege in 1408. Starting in 1417 Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, undertook work that included building a terrace and, in 1425, laying out a park. Damaged again during a siege in 1430, the castle and the town of Florennes were fortified around 1465 with ditches, bastions and other defensive works. These walls still existed in 1517, and the castle was accessible by a drawbridge. The House of Lorraine remained owner of the castle until 1556.

In 1556 ownership of the castle passed to the House of Glymes-Jodoigne. Queen consort of Navarre Margaret of Valois sought refuge in Florennes Castle in 1577.

The fortifications of the castle and town of Florennes were demolished on the order of Louis XIV of France in 1704 but in the 1740's some towers of the castle were still reported to be intact.

The castle passed from the Glyme's to the Beaufort-Spontin family in 1771. In 1794, during the French Revolution, the castle was confiscated and Frederic Augustus Alexander, the Duke of Beaufort-Spontin, fled the country. After the restoration of the monarchy in 1814 the castle was returned to the Beaufort-Spontin family. They sold it in 1893 but their name stuck to the castle.

In 1902 it was bought by French Jesuits who used it as a college. During WW I the castle was first used as a hospital by the French and later by the Germans. The German forces returned in 1940 and the castle was occupied by the Luftwaffe until 1944. Then it was taken into use by American troops. In 1950 the castle was sold by the Jesuits and it was turned into a public school.

At present Florennes Castle is partly used primary school. Its exterior can freely be visited.


Gallery