Liresse Castle, locally known as Château de Liresse, lies in the woods between the villages of Rochehaut and Mogimont, in the province of Luxembourg in the Wallonia region in Belgium.
Nothing is known about the history of Liresse Castle. It was only once mentioned in the second part of the 11th century in the archives of the Saint-Hubert Abbey as a fortification designated to protect the passage of the route from Vivy to Bouillon. Part of it was used as a redoubt by Louis XIV of France, in 1706. It is one of a set of 28 sites along the Semois river, like Montragut Castle or Fées Castle.
Legend has it that its inhabitants were pagans and that they worshipped a Golden Calf. When the squire converted to Christianity, he got rid of the idol by throwing it into a deep well in the keep. In the early 19th century, the owner of the ruins, driven by the legend, cleared the wells in search of this golden idol but only found some fragments of antlers and a human skeleton. He even contracted a dowser to search for it but finally gave up his search.
Liresse Castle is situated on a, naturally protected, rocky outcrop. At present there are several straight and curved walls to be seen, forming a courtyard. In the central elevated part, where probably the keep stood, is an 11 meters deep pit, which is said to be the well of the legend. Access to the castle is from the north on a gravel path through shale stones placed on edge, along the eastern wall. The entrance, originally made of wood, later replaced by a corridor wall in shale and provided with an arched wooden door. Up until some years ago you could still see the locations of the frames of this door but the walls are now collapsing.
On a smaller rocky outcrop on the southern part of the courtyard stands a small 19th century chapel. In the courtyard also stands a abandoned 20th century building of some sort.
The site of Liresse Castle is private property but freely accessible.
A nice and quiet site with a mysterious air to it and although there isn’t much architectural detail to be seen, I liked it a lot.