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Montquintin Castle

Belgian Castles

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Montquintin Castle, locally known as Château de Montquintin or Château de Hontheim, is situated in the rural village of the same name, south west of the town of Virton, in the province of Luxembourg in Belgium close to the French border.

The oldest parts of Montquintin Castle date back to the 14th century. It was erected by the Counts of Chiny. In its original state it was a square castle with circular towers at its four corners.

It is possible that the site on which it was built was also used by the Romans as a look out post for its commanding views over the lands of Gaume, enclosed as it is by the valleys of three brooks; the Ton, the Vire and the Chiers. During the centuries it was repeatedly attacked and destroyed by French troops; in 1480, 1542 and 1647. But each time it was rebuilt.

In 1760 Jean-Nicolas de Hontheim became owner of Montquintin Castle. He was bishop of Trier and a well regarded member of the clergy. He published a book under his pseudonym Justinus Febronius and was favored by the Empress Maria Theresa and Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor. He died in Montquintin Castle in 1790.

In 1794 Montquintin Castle was again attacked and severely damaged. This time by French troops under General Jourdan. In 1803 it was rebuilt by Jacques de Hontheim, cousin and heir of Jean-Nicolas. He made the castle U-shaped, with its fourth side closed by a iron gate. The castle suffered severe damage from fires in 1869 and 1931. And even in 1940 it suffered from shells from the Maginot Line.

The castle is now a very charming ruin with only two corner towers left (the other two were torn down in 1770 and 1830). As far as I know the castle ruins are freely accessible. Although be careful because when I visited there seemed to be some ongoing archaeological excavations and consolidation works.

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