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Salamander Tower

Belgian Castles

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Salamander Tower, locally known as Tour Salamandre, lies in the town of Beaumont, in the province of Hainaut in the Wallonia region in Belgium.

Salamander Tower was built as part of a small castle around 1050 by Richilde, Countess of Hainaut, at the edge of a plateau. It was part of the defenses of the town of Beaumont. Succeeding Counts of Hainaut; Baldwin IV and V made the small town into a little fortress.

It is said that in 1340, at the time of Jean de Beaumont, the castle was damaged by fire.

In 1408 the war of the citizens of Liège against the Prince-bishop ravaged the region. But Beaumont, which had modernized its walls, escaped disaster. And again in 1477, after the death of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, the town escaped devastation.

In 1453 Philip the Good had given Beaumont to the De Croy family who governed Hainaut for the Duke of Burgundy. Gradually the castle was transformed into a sumptuous palace. Under the De Croy’s the town, castle and ramparts were beautified. Charles de Croy-Aarschot, Duke of Aarschot and Croy, Prince of Porceau and Chimay, born in Beaumont in 1560, made Beaumont his favorite residence. He died here in 1612.

In 1632 the plague raged through the region and killed half of the population of Beaumont. In 1637 the town was sieged. In 1655 the town disobeyed a requisition order and was taken and burned to the ground as a result by Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, on the orders of Louis XIV, King of France. Only 30 houses were left standing. After that the tower fell to ruin.

At present the tower is not accessible. It used to house a small museum but it seemed like it had closed down for quite some time. A nice tower in a nice little town.

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