Ruins of the Feudal Castel of Walhain
The seignory, records of which go back to the 11th century, was the property of the Walhain Family who was in the service of the Duke of Brabant and sometimes the Count of Namur.
The seignory was established as a county in 1532 by Charles-Quint for Jean de Berghes and it passed into the hands of the Glimes family who modernised the fortress in the middle of the 16th century. The residence was abandoned in around 1700. The castle suffered serious deterioration over the years until it finally fell into ruin.
The whole edifice clearly resembles medieval fortifications: there are three circular corner towers, an entrance with two towers and a circular keep. This probably dates back to the end of the 12th century and it forms the core around which the castle was built in the 13th century.
The project: conservation and tourism
The overgrowth of vegetation has been removed from the vestiges of the feudal castle of Walhain but the site needs to be reinforced if it is to be designated as a tourist site. An American team from Illinois University is carrying out archaeological digs in parallel each year at the site in partnership with UCL the Université catholique de Louvain.
The Institute (on 1st January 2018: “Wallonia Heritage Agency”, new designation) has brought together a group of Americans who could work together to obtain sponsorship. In order to ensure that the site is saved, the property was purchased by the Institute at the beginning of 2009 and gave a long lease to the Town Council to develop a tourist project there and carry out activities there with its Tourist Office.
An architect has studied the restoration and the Town Council obtained permit in 2016. Now the restoration works are about to be ready to begin.
Costs and grants
The costs of the restoration are estimated at $1.057.000 inclusive of tax.
A grant of 65 % could be allocated by the Wallonia Heritage Agency for this kind of listed monument.
The Town Council is looking for sponsorship to finance its part of the restoration works and to enhance the site. An account for the project was opened at the King Baudouin Foundation United States in New York. The Town Council is looking for $411.000.
Rue du Vieux Château
Contact: Wallonia Heritage Agency
Dates of the listing: 10 November 1955 and 16 October 1980
Listed parts: the castle as a monument; the ruins and the surroundings as a site