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Crèvecœur Castle

Belgian Castles

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Crèvecœur Castle, locally known as Château de Crèvecœur, lies on a high rock cliff next to the town of Bouvignes-sur-Meuse, in the province of Namur in the Wallonia region in Belgium.

It was built as part of the defense of the fortified town of Bouvignes in 1320. During medieval times there was a lot of hostility between the town of Bouvignes and the neighboring town of Dinant, on the opposite bank of the river. This was because the townspeople of Bouvignes were linked to the Church of Namur and those of Dinant were linked to the Church of Liège.

The castle was modified during the 14th and 15th century.

In 1554 the castle was besieged by the troops of the French king Henry II. He had already sacked both Bouvignes and Dinant. At some point in the siege, three wives of killed officers took over command of the defending knights. When the fighting ceased, because the defenders had run out of ammunition, these three wives threw themselves, hand in hand, of the castle walls. They rather died than be captured.

This heart breaking event also gave the castle its present name because Crève Cœur translates to ‘breaking heart’. Earlier it had just been known as the Bouvignes Tower. The castle remained a ruin from then on.

Crèvecœur Castle is freely accessible. It offers some marvelous views over the valley of the river Meuse. Also the path through the woods, leading from the town to the castle is very nice.

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