Jehay Castle

Jehay Castle

Belgian Castles

Jehay Castle

Jehay Castle, locally known as Château de Jehay, lies north of the town of Amay, in the province of Liège in the Wallonia region in Belgium.

Jehay Castle is situated in a marshy area, which strategic importance was already acknowledged by the Celts, who first built here. The Celtic building was later transformed into a Roman castrum. The castrum itself was, later again, turned into a Carolingian stronghold.

When exactly the first real castle was built at this site is unknown.

During the 12th and 13th century the castle was owned by several noble families. At the beginning of the 14th century, during the Wars between the Awans family and the Waroux family, Jehay Castle was owned by an Arnould de Jehain.

During the first quarter of the 15th century Jehay Castle was owned by a Wathieu Datin. After he rebelled, in 1428, against the Principality of Liège, he was banished and the castle was confiscated. The estate then passed to Gérard Gossuin de Beyne, Mayor of Liège in 1456, whose daughter, Agnes, was the wife of Quentin de Towin. In 1473, Quentin sold the entire property to his brother William.

In 1483, the castle went to the De Sart family through marriage. At the end of the 15th century, during the war between Jean de Hornes, Prince-Bishop of Liège, and the De la Marck family, the castle was repeatedly damaged.

Around 1550, a member of the De Sart family rebuilt Jehay Castle. In 1567 the castle went to the De Mérode family through marriage. This family owned the castle for nearly the next 150 years and undertook many building activities at the castle.

In 1720, Jehay Castle was bought by Lambert Amand van den Steen, Lord of Saive in Hesbaye and private advisor to the Prince-Bishop of Liège, from the Count de Mérode. Lambert’s descendants called themselves Van den Steen de Jehay. They also undertook several building campaigns. The last descendant of the family van den Steen, Count Guy van den Steen Jehay sold the castle, while keeping the usufruct, to the province of Liège in 1978. When the Count died in 1999 the province became full owner of the castle.

At present Jehay Castle is used as a national museum and can be visited for a fee. Photography inside the castle is prohibited.

A very nice castle although the exterior is more interesting than the interior.

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