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Thread: Chateau De Farciennes, Wallonia, Belgium, April 2018

  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 2013
    People's Republic of South Yorkshire.

    Default Chateau De Farciennes, Wallonia, Belgium, April 2018

    1. The History
    Farciennes Castle is a derelict 17th-century castle in Farciennes in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. The present building stands on the site of an earlier castle of the 14th century. The first record of the castle at Farciennes dates from 1344, when Adolf van der Marck, Prince-Bishop of Liège, gave Hendrik of Farciennes permission to restore and strengthen his castle. On 23th September 1408 the united armies of John III, Duke of Bavaria (John the Pitiless), at that time Prince-Bishop of Liège, and his brother William II, Duke of Bavaria, defeated the rebellious citizens of Liège in battle on the plain of Russon. The victors ordered that the strongholds in the area be dismantled, which included the castle of Farciennes.

    The remains of the stronghold changed hands several times until Charles Albert de Longueval became owner. He ordered the demolition of what was left of the medieval structure and erected on the same spot a new aristocratic castle in the year 1630. However, he never saw it finished, as he died before its completion in 1676. Marie-Emmanuelle de Longueval, Countess of Bouquoi, married Albert-Maximilien, Count de Fours, and so the castle passed to the de Fours family. It was badly damaged by pillaging armies during the French Revolution. Count François de Fours was however able to keep the castle out of the French hands with a sales trick.

    In 1809 the Count de Fours, the last lord of Farciennes, sold the castle to Gabriel Scarsez, a lawyer from Mons, but he lacked the means to maintain an estate like Farciennes in good condition, so the building gradually began to decay. Finally, large parts of the surrounding park were sold and factories built on the land. The castle started to show cracks as a result of the coal mines causing the ground below to subside. The building was rented out and was turned into a starch factory. In the meantime the beautiful interior was plundered and the contents scattered throughout the world.
    In 1860 the castle was turned into a farm. A part was set aside for living quarters and some of the big ballrooms housed the cows and pigs. Postcard of the castle, circa 1906:

    2018-05-01_10-45-10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Neglect and ill-treatment continued unchecked, even though the castle was classed as a structure of national importance in 1926, until eventually, in 2008, the town of Farciennes bought what remained of the building, which was only a skeleton of what was once was a beautiful estate. Large parts of the building have collapsed. It became a classified monument in 2009, and a restoration project commenced in 2012, when the Walloon Heritage Institute stipulated that the project should take place in two phases; first the stabilization of the current ruins, before proceeding to the rehabilitation of the places. In February 2017, Walloon Minister of Heritage, Maxime Prévot, granted a subsidy of € 281,205 to begin this first phase. Subsequently scaffolding was erected on both sides of the castle, in order to maintain the facade in place and the roofs covered.

    Pictured in more recent times:

    2018-05-01_11-02-54 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    2. The Explore
    Visted en route from another visit, this place was now an external viewing only. It previously had been in an abandoned state and easy access up until 2012. Now though with stabalisation work in place, the chateau is fenced off and sealed up.

    3. The Pictures


    img6627 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6629 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Detail of the crest above the main door:

    img6630 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Breeze-blocked up rear door:

    img6632 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6635 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Wall detail:

    img6637 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6639 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img6625 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Turret detail:

    img6623 by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: Mearing
  4. #2
    Join Date
    February 2015
    Aberdeen, Scotland


    Looks like a nice building in its day but there's not a lot left. Nice pictures and you had nice weather as well.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD
  6. #3
    Join Date
    January 2013
    People's Republic of South Yorkshire.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    Looks like a nice building in its day but there's not a lot left. Nice pictures and you had nice weather as well.
    Yup...had some great weather in Belgium. And yes, this place has really suffered in recent years. Let's hope they can reverse some of this in the coming years.

  7. Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan

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