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Castles and Gardens

There are more castles per square mile in Belgium than anywhere else in the world. Beautiful castles to experience, formal gardens to get lost in, peaceful abbeys and historic battlefields are awaiting your visit.  We would like to suggest a few special sites for your historic journey through French speaking Wallonia and Brussels.

 

Brussels Hainaut Liege
Luxembourg Namur Castle-Hotel
Events Castles for events Private Gardens
Tour Operators & Links

 

Brussels

Petit Sablon Square

Originally a horse market, it was converted in 1890 into an elegant & charming flower garden with lavish fountains, surrounded by wrought-iron fences decorated with stone statuettes. Each figure represents a medieval trade or craft that brought prosperity to Brussels.

The Royal Palace and Brussels Park

Each summer, the Royal Palace is open to the public who can walk around the rooms, corridors and monumental staircases, and admire the priceless collections and decorative art originating from every continent. In front of the palace stands the Park of Brussels, a setting for music lovers and a marvel for children with its shows and fountains.
Palace: open around July to Sept
Park: open all year

The Botanical Gardens

This paradise for nature lovers is an historic royal domain. Endless promenade walks lead through open-air collections of medicinal plants, herbaceous plants, trees, and conifers. Another world is revealed in the Plant Palace, an enormous glasshouse with more than 10,000 plant species including unusual plants from America, Africa, Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

Open all year

The Gardens of the Van Buuren Museum

The garden is made of the "Picturesque Garden", the "Labyrinth" and the "Garden of the Heart". The Grande Roseraie, a rose garden, is the central element of the garden of a big classicism, composed of rectangular flowerbeds, bordered by boxes. The Van Buuren gardens are a jewel of greenery in the center of Brussels.

Open all year except on Tuesdays

The Royal Greenhouses

Initially conceived as an orangery, the site took on its current aspect under Leopold II with the addition of the domed Winter Garden, the creation of the botanical area and the designing of the decorative rockeries. The spectacular 19th century Winter Garden, an Art Nouveau jewel classed among the greatest greenhouses of the world is worth visiting as much for its architectural merits as for the astonishing collections of tropical and subtropical plants which it houses.

Open 3 weeks in April and May

Bois de la Cambre

The Bois de la Cambre is one of the most beautiful public parks with a large variety of sights and a maze of trails that are in complete harmony with the site. It is the Belgian equivalent of Central Park in NYC. On Saturdays and Sundays, some routes are closed to cars, thus leaving the way free for cyclists, joggers, roller-skating enthusiasts, etc.

Open all year

Parc of Wolluwé

The park of Woluwé in the style of an English landscaped garden offers a huge diversity of landscapes and natural species. Ducks, swans, gulls and other aquatic birds, whether indigenous or migratory, populate the extensive waterways. At the Mellaerts ponds, a natural extension of the Woluwé park, a restaurant and mini-golf will welcome you.

Parc of the Cinquantenaire

The Cinquantenaire is one of the largest architectural and cultural complexes in Europe. The park is laid out following classical park designs – symmetrical layout of flower beds and lawns, rows of trees with thick trunks. The park, a haven of peace in the midst of the automobile storm, houses a lot of treasures: the Big Mosque, Islamic centre of Brussels, the statue of the green dog and the Pavilion of human passions by Victor Horta.

Park of Brussels

Simplicity, symmetry and charm are the qualities that characterize this park which is sure to enchant anyone who takes the time to visit it. This small green area, surrounded by the Royal Palace, the Rue Ducale, the Palace of the Nation and the Rue Royale, abounds in treasures for those who want to stroll about. The park, a setting for music lovers with its concerts, a marvel for children with its shows and fountains, is adorned by the most beautiful finery.

Park of Tournay-Solvay

Although little known to the people of Brussels, the Park Tournay-Solvay is well worth a visit. Its founder Ernest Solvay has taken advantage of the relief to create views from above or an impression of intimacy and mystery. The buildings are sometimes secluded, sometimes imposing. During the walk you will notice the harmony of a clever upkeep that preserves wild nature and combines exotic species, orchards and vegetable gardens. The rose garden is full of poetry and the copper beech stretches out its branches.

Forest of Soignes

Providing a welcome breath of fresh air to the city, the Forest of Soignes is home to many squirrels and foxes and has a dense network of tracks and trails, horse and cycle paths as well as picnic spots and recreational areas. The forest, 80% of which is covered by row upon row of beech trees, forms a rich and verdant expanse and encompasses five natural reserves.

 

 

Hainaut

The Castle and Gardens of Beloeil

The Castle of Beloeil has been the residence of the Princes de Ligne since the 14th century. It houses an art collection, with paintings from the 15th to the 19th century and an outstanding library with 20,000 books. The castle has large French-style gardens offering a harmonious balance of water and green, of shadow and light.

Open from April to September

Castle Beloeil Wallonia

The Castle and Gardens of Seneffe

This castle was built in the 18th century, in the classical style. The residence is at the center of a group of buildings which include outbuildings, an orangery, a small neo-classic theater, an icehouse and a French garden, set in a park of 23,223 sq.ft. It houses the Silversmiths' Museum and the European Silver collection of Claude and Juliette D'Allemagne.

Open all year

The Castle of Attre

Built in 1752, it is the only castle in Belgium that has preserved the original decoration and furniture of that period. The romantic gardens with mysterious rocks and other formations reflect the 18th century. Behind the castle are grounds that stretch over 42 acres.

Open from April to September on Sunday

Open on Saturday and Sunday in July and August

The Castle of Chimay

The castle of Chimay, one of the twelve noble houses of Hainaut, was built in 1607 and hosts a beautiful theater built in 1863. Every year, the Prince and Princess of Chimay host an International Baroque Singing Competition and a Baroque Music Festival.

Open from April to October everyday

Open from November to March on demand
castle chimay

The Castle and the Park of Enghien

The current castle in Louis XVI style is located in a magnificent park, char-acterized by its themed gardens and water features. With its flower garden, its Seven Stars Baroque gar-dens, a curiosity of the estate, and its dahlia garden, Enghien Park takes visitors back through 400 years of history.

Castle not open to the public

Park open all year

Mariemont Park

The Mariemont Park, created in the 16th century is laid out in the English style, with lawns, lakes and foliage, age-old trees and exotic species, and fine sculptures side by side with the ruins of Charles of Lorraine's palace. The Mariemont Royal Museum, opened in 1975, replaces the 19th century chateau which was destroyed by a fire in 1960.

Open all year

The Castle of Havré

On the outskirts of Mons, The Castle of Havré consists of a large courtyard, four angle towers of which the dongeon is covered with an onion-shaped dome and a gothic chapel. The entire castle is surrounded by a moat. The estate is home to a rose garden that was developed in 2000. You will find about 15,000 rosebushes, divided over 210 different varieties, planted in original com-positions, a garden in which old and new roses rival for your attention.

Castle and museum open on demand

Rose Garden open from April to September on weekdays and from October to March on demand

The Fortified Castle of Ecaussinnes

Still marked with medieval austerity, this historical monument keeps alive the memory of the big families who lived here: the Lalaings, the Croÿs, the van der Burchs. Whilst the ground floor (dungeon, gothic chapel, ancient kitchen, arms room) evokes the Middle Ages, the first floor calls to mind the 17th century. The very varied collections make the fortress an interest-ing museum.

Open from April to October on Sunday and Public Holidays

Open everyday except on Friday in July and August

 

Liège

The Botanical Gardens of Liège

The Greenhouses and arboretum of the Botanical Gardens of Liège houses the Liege University exotic collections in magnificent Victorian style greenhouses. They are a rare example of glass and iron construction. The house holds nearly 5,000 plants, including numerous begoniaciae, orchids, carnivorous plants and grass plants, Mediterranean or tropical plants.

Open all year

The Castle of Jehay

This fine example of Renaissance style dates back to the 16th century and houses splendid collections of furniture, silver, lace, china, tapestries, paintings and sculptures. The bridge crossing the moat takes you into the gardens with paths, arbors, fountains, waterfalls and nymphs.

The Castle is  closed in 2013 but the exhibitions and gardens are open to the public on demand.

www.chateaujehay.be

 

The Castle of Modave

Built beginning in 1658, the Castle de Modave is an extraordinary residence, whose design incorporates mediaeval-style towers, as well as features that were completely new at the time. Inside the castle, where about twenty richly decorated and furnished rooms are open to the public, one may admire remarkable ceilings, beautiful sculptures, paintings, Brussels tapestries and furniture dating from the 18th century.

Open from April to October except on Mondays

castle of the counts marchin

Park of the Sept Heures, Spa

Laid out in the mid-18th century, the "seven o'clock" public park was one of the main places in Spa to see and be seen. A listed site since 1977, it is an essential feature in the town landscape. As well as several interesting trees, it is crossed by two majestic side paths. The park also has a number of 19th century buildings which demonstrate the eclectic tastes of the peri-od: the iron and glass Galerie Léopold II and Petits Jeux pavilions.

Open all year

Herba Sana, Hautes Fagnes

At the heart of the Hautes Fagnes, the Herba Sana opens its doors to the world of herbal medicine. More than 200 medicinal plants are regrouped by theme or by usage indication. Each plant is identified by a small label indicating what it's used for, which part is used in herbal medicine and its toxicity degree. The rest of the terrain has been left in its savage condition, so the visitors can discover the typical flora of the Hautes Fagnes region.

Open from June to September

Fortified Castle of Logne

Discover this amazing old castle and its legend. Walk throughout the subterranean passages, discover a part of History in the merovingian section or dream about past with the medieval area and its falconry show. But the Castle shelters a secret about a mysterious guardian... Take a part of the treasure hunt and the Golden Goat hidden secret!

Castle of Reinhardstein

Originally built in 1354, the castle was the residence of several families. The Castle was demolished after the French Revolution and was completely rebuilt in 1969. The halls of the castle house an impressive collection of armor and tapestries, making it one of the most important medieval castles in Belgium.

Open all year on weekends

Open during school holidays on Tuesday, Thursday and weekends

reinharstein castle

 

Luxembourg

The Feudal Castle of La Roche

Perched on the Deister rocky spur, this site has over time housed a Neolithic residence, a Roman, the house of the Kings of the Franks. Overhanging the city and the Ourthe, nestled in the middle of nature, it truly makes La Roche "The pearl of the Ardennes". Despite all the changes endured by the castle the actual ruins with their towers, arrow slits and oubliettes, have retained the feel of feudal times.

Open all year

The Castle of Bouillon

This castle-fortress is the oldest and most interesting remains of feudalism in Belgium with the first fortifications from the 8th century. It was built on three rocky outcrops and is character-ized by a labyrinth of corridors and huge vaulted halls. The castle became first famous due to Godefroid, the leader of the first Crusade (1096). Educational falconry exhibition all year round.

Open all year

CASTLE BOUILLON

The Topiary Gardens

With a unique collection of sculpted box trees, it is the largest topiary garden open to the public.This very original garden boasts more than 250 figures, some of which are more than 120 years old. Topiary art embellishes gardens and gives a living shape to evergreen plants using pruning and braiding.

Open all year

 

Namur

The Castle of Veves

If Cinderella ever hosted a ball, it must have been there. This picturesque, turreted feudal castle dates back to 1410. Perched dramatically on a rocky outcrop overlooking the picturesque village of Celles, it is still lived in by the same family and is fully furnished. It illustrates what life was like from the Middle Ages up to the 18th century.

Open from April to November

The Castle and Gardens of Annevoie

Designed and laid out between 1758 and 1776 by Charles-Alexis de Montpellier, the castle and gardens are an authentic historical record and above all a living work of art. Graceful fountains and waterfalls fill the garden and the arbors with music.

Open all year

The Castle and Gardens of Freyr

Named after the Scandinavian goddess of beauty, Freyr (1554) is located along the River Meuse. Most of the orange trees originate from the Court of Lorraine and are nearing 350 years old, which are brought inside during the winter. The gardens are in the style of Le Nôtre and are surrounded by mazes made of horn beam hedges. The castle and gardens are listed as a Major Walloon Heritage Site.

Weekends and holidays- From April 1st to November 15th from 11am to 5pm. July & August-Tue. to Sun.: 11am to 5pm

The Chevetogne Provincial Estate

The Chevetogne Provincial Estate is the perfect destination for day trips, weekends and stays devoted to relaxation and leisure activities. The vast estate has everything a family could want, all in one place: leisure areas, paths for strolling through woods and gardens, sports fields and fabulous playgrounds, all in keeping with the vast scale of the site.

Open all year

The Castle of Lavaux-Ste-Anne

This castle portrays seigniorial life in the 17th and 18th centuries. You’ll never see another castle like this medieval oddity, a moat-encircled collection of domes with an impressive collection of stuffed animals inside. There are also three museums: a museum of daily life in the 17

th and 18th centuries, a museum of rural life in Famenne in the 19th and 20th centuries and a natural history museum.

Open all year

lavaux st anne castle

The Abbey of Maredsous

Built in 1872 by Benedictine monks in a neo-Gothic style, this monastery offers pilgrims and tourists a beautiful architectural ensemble. Take a guided tour of the church and grounds including the gardens, library, cemetery, school and workshops.

Open all year

The Citadel of Namur

The Citadel of Namur, built in a prestigious setting, stretches out on 19 acres of greenery and offers superb views across the Meuse Valley. Besides its quality as an historical witness, it also has several attractions such as a tourist train (though all the fortifications), underground passages, an audiovisual show and exhibition rooms.

Open all year

citadel of namur

The Citadel of Dinant

On a cliff above the River Meuse, the citadel offers views of the town and countryside. This fortress was built in 1051 to defend the city against invaders. It is reached either by cable car or by the 408 steps cut into the hillside.

Open all year

 

Castle-Hotel
Belgium is a hospitable country where the good life has become an art and where even the smallest villages abound with cultural dicoveries. Discover for yourself during a stay in one of our superb château hotels where heritage and delight form a perfect synergy.

 

Other Castle-Hotel
Martin's Manoir (Genval) Castel du Val d'Or (Ocquier)
Château d'Arondeau (Roucourt) Château de Limont (Limont)
Hotel de Franc Bois (Chimay) Château de Rendeux (Rendeux)
Le Manoir du Capitaine (Feluy) Château de Latour (Latour)
Château Crawhez (Clermont) Château du Pont d'Oye (Habay-la-Neuve)
Château de Saint Nicolas (Saint-Nicolas) Hostellerie le Claimarais (Arlon)
Domaine du château de la Neuville (Huy) Château de Strainchamps (Fauvillers)
Hôtel Château Bleu (Trooz) Château d'Heblon (Hotton)
Le Manoir (Marche-en-Famenne) Manoir de la Motte (Boussu-en-Fagne)
Château de Vignée (Rochefort) Castel de Pont à Lesse (Anseremme)

 

Events
May 1 Leuze The Flower Show: Like every year, fifty florists, nurserymen and horticulturists will take over the Grand-Place and the Place du Jeu de Balle in order to create a carpet of flowers, plants and shrubs of all types and colours. A specialist jury will examine each stand and mark it for presentation and for the quality of range of products presented.
May 3-5 Aywiers Plant and Garden Festival: The few 180 garden professionals coming from Belgium and other countries are looking forward to giving you gardening advice and suggesting you their products of quality: specialized nurserymen, landscape architects, artists and craftsmen, "garden" bookshop...
May 4-5 Annevoie Venetian Costume Parade: a Venetian fancy dress will be held in the sumptuous Gardens of Annevoie.
May 11-12 Beez Plant Festival at the Castle of Beez: The English garden, bordered by many beautiful bicentennial common beeches, offers you a gorgeous atmosphere. Famous specialised plant breeders, who came from all over Belgium and from abroad, as well as exclusive garden decorators will give you advices and will let you detect thousands of new things. A convivial atmosphere is guaranteed!
June 2 Chevetogne Gardens and Hobbies Festival: Garden lovers can collect a bunch of new ideas. Featuring stands with plants, gardening clothes, tools, garden furniture, swimming pools, saunas. In short, everything you need to make your garden a haven of peace and beauty for the warm summer evening to come.
June 23 - September 15 Lavaux-Ste-Anne Chateau Art Festival: National and international exhibition of more than 200 artworks by contemporary artists. Artistic genres include monumental and regular-sized sculpture, abstract and figurative painting, etching, photography, ceramics, artistic jewellery and contemporary glass. Fireworks at the Lavaux-Ste-Anne castle.
July 6 - August 24 La Roche The Phantom of La Roche: Every evening at dusk the ghost of Berthe - daughter of the Count of La Roche in the tenth century - wanders the castle walls lamenting her tragic destiny. Believing to have been betrayed by her fiancé, she sold her soul to the Devil on the condition that she could avenge herself by taking her fiancé to death with her.
August Seneffe Flower Carpet: A magnificent flower carpet made from 200,000 begonias will be laid out on the grounds of Seneffe Castle in French speaking Wallonia. For three days, over 11,000 sq ft of vibrant colors will light up the main courtyard of this prestigious 18th century castle.
September 7 Beloeil Les Musicales: For over 20 years, Beloeil welcomes the biggest Belgian manifestation of classical music. Aboout 15 000 people stroll around the park to enjoy the performances of the artists on the numerous stages of this huge music festival.
September 21 Jehay Autumn Garden Festival: The castle of Jehay will held its first plant and garden Festival this year.
October Modave Festival of the Apple: Celebrate the apple ! We invite you in the prestigious setting of the Castle of Modave to take a bite of round fruit and to discover all its aspects. Programme: pressing workshops and cooking with apples from the orchard, clipping demonstration, walks and bike rides, children's animations...
October 12-13 Beez Plant Festival at the Castle of Beez: The English garden, bordered by many beautiful bicentennial common beeches, offers you a gorgeous atmosphere. Famous specialised plant breeders, who came from all over Belgium and from abroad, as well as exclusive garden decorators will give you advices and will let you detect thousands of new things. A convivial atmosphere is guaranteed!
August 14-17, 2014 Brussels
Flower Carpet: The famous Carpet of Flowers covers 1,800 m² right in the centre of the Grand Place. These flowers offer a wide range of vivid and glowing colours and easily resist the burning sun. After all, the craftsmen assemble them directly on the cobble-stones of the square without a layer of soil. The coloured plant tapestry can be admired best from the balcony of the City Hall, which is open to the public for the occasion.

 

Private Gardens

Visit private gardens in Wallonia and Brussels

The association "Open Gardens of Belgium" offers more than 200 private gardens and parks. The owners invite you to discover quality gardens, with architectural, botanical or historical interests.

Visit private gardens in Liège

Jardin en Pays de Liege is an association of more than 70 private gardens. Every weekend from April to December, one or two gardens are open to the public. Jardins en Pays de Liege gathers gardens of different sizes and styles, there something for everybody. The owners have a passion for gardens and are always eager to share it with visitors. Once a year, the association organizes a garden festival, with nurserymen, exhibitions, activities for kids and much more.

 

Tour Operator in US and other useful links

Destinations Europe (Travel & Tours) Ltd.

For castles and gardens tours.

Gardening Tours

Custom tour designed specifically for garden writers taking place in Belgium & Holland.

Tulips & Windmills Cruises

Several tour operators offer floral inspired small ship cruises and barges throughout Belgium and the Netherlands.

Hainault Castles

Over 500 castles to discover in this Walloon province.