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Sombreffe Castle

Belgian Castles

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Sombreffe Castle, locally known as Château de Sombreffe, lies north west of the town with the same name, in the province of Namur in the Wallonia region in Belgium.

Sombreffe Castle was built in the early beginning of the 13th century as a simple keep pertaining to the Lords of Orbais. It was a border fortress of the duchy of Brabant, just like the castles of Corroy-le-Chateau, Opprebais and Walhain. Later in the 13th century the Lords of Orbais surrounded the keep with a circular curtain wall. This wall was equipped with several towers, a gate and a secondary keep.

In 1446 the castle passed to the Vernembourg family by marriage. They kept the castle until 1543. Several other families passed as owners of Sombreffe Castle; Culembourg, Lalaing, Ligne, Oignies and finally the Lannoy family.

At the end of the 16th century the upper part of the primary keep, where the residence of the Lord was situated, was destroyed by fire. In the beginning of the 17th century this part was rebuilt with the use of bricks.

In the 18th century a new residence for the Lord was built beside the primary keep. In the 19th century the castle was used for agricultural purposes. A doctor Geerts bought Sombreffe Castle in 1982 and restored it.

Sombreffe Castle is a typical Belgian plain castle. At present it is said to be used for parties, marriages and as a restaurant. But when I visited it seemed that it hadn’t been used for these purposes for some time now. Nevertheless a very nice castle.

The courtyard of the castle is freely accessible, only the primary keep and the area behind it is private.

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