Havré Castle

Havré Castle

Belgian Castles

Havré Castle

Havré Castle, locally known as Château d’Havré, lies in the town of the same name, in the province of Hainaut in the Wallonia region in Belgium.

The first fortification at this site was built in the 12th century and was used as an advanced defense post for the town of Mons, along the Haine river. It was owned by the Enghien family who gave the castle its present rectangular ground plan.

In 1365 Havré Castle was almost destroyed when it was taken by a Flemish army, who occupied the region.

In 1518 Havré Castle went to Philippe de Croy, due to an exchange. In March 1578 the castle was sieged by a small army. The defenders surrendered immediately, keeping the castle intact. In July that same year however, when the village was attacked and taken after heavy artillery fire, the castle suffered severe damage and went up in flames.

Charles-Alexandre de Croy had the castle rebuilt in 1600 into a lavish residence. Charles-Alexandre was an important figure; Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Chamberlain of Albert VII, Archduke of Austria and a Prince in the Holy Roman Empire. He entertained lots of important guests; the painter Peter Paul Rubens, Marie de Medicis, wife of King Henry IV of France, the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, Mary of Hungary, Governess of the Netherlands, the Duke of Marlborough and the Prince of Savoy.

Later the castle fell into disuse until 1839 when it was abandoned by the Croy family.

In the 20th century Havré Castle the dilapidated castle fell to ruin, due to neglect and vandalism, and became an overgrown ruin. During the last decades the castle was restored to its present appearance.

At present restorations are still taking place. The castle can be visited on special occasions. A very nice castle.

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