The Château de Vêves holds many secrets and stories for you ...
THE HISTORY OF THE CASTLEThe Château de Celles, known as the Château de Vêves, classified as an exceptional monument, is one of the most remarkable specimens of 15th century military architecture. The foundations of the primitive castle date back, according to tradition and chronicles, to the time of Pepin de Herstal (670-714), attracted to these places by the vicinity of Saint-Hadelin and by the favorable location of the hill which dominates and commands the old road from Dinant to Rochefort. Destroyed in 1200, rebuilt in 1230, the buildings burned down at the beginning of the 15th century and were restored after the fire. The castle remained a fortress until the end of the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance, a complete transformation of the buildings was carried out; later, under Louis XV, new modifications mainly concerned the interior design, woodwork, alcoves and wall windows. The plan forms an irregular triangle flanked by four large towers as well as two smaller ones.
One familyFrom the 12th century onwards, the history of the lordship of Celles-Vêves merges with that of the Sires of Beaufort and their descendants the Counts of Liedekerke Beaufort de Celles. Having become lord of Celles by marrying Ode de Bretagne, Wauthier de Beaufort (who died in 1196) modified the coat of arms of his ancestors by including the Breton ermine. In 1187, Theodore de Celles took part in the third crusade. In 1466, Louis de Beaufort took part in the siege of Dinant when the town was razed to the ground by Charles the Bold. His son and his wife lie under a beautiful tombstone in the church of Celles. In 1609, in the heart of an oak tree that he had just felled, a woodcutter discovered the statue of the Virgin, which was transported to the Château de Vêves and caused such wonders that it was declared miraculous.
On the site of the oak tree, the Beauforts built a sanctuary, which was later replaced by the present Church of Notre-Dame de Foy, a place of pilgrimage. The Countess Marie-Robertine de Beaufort, Baroness heiress of Celles, married in 1761 Jacques-Ignace de Gavre, Count of Liedekerke. Their son, Hilarion de Gavre, first Count of Liedekerke Beaufort, Baron de Celles, Marshal of the court of the King of the Netherlands, married Julie, daughter of Viscount Desandrouin, Treasurer General of the Austrian Netherlands and granddaughter of Count de Neny, President of the Council of the Austrian Netherlands. Their son, Auguste de Gavre, Count de Liedekerke Beaufort de Celles (1789-1855), Ambassador of the Netherlands to the Papal States, married in 1813 Charlotte (1792-1822), daughter of the Marquise de la Tour du Pin Gouvernet, née Henriette-Lucy Dillon, the La Tour du Pin family descended from the former sovereigns of the Dauphiné. The Marquise de la Tour du Pin Gouvernet wrote the ``Diary of a Fifty-Year-Old Woman``, recounting with talent her memories of Marie-Antoinette's Dame d'Honneur, the dark hours of the Terror and her emigration to America. Charlotte's grandfather, Jean-Frédéric de la Tour du Pin, who was Louis XVI's last Minister of War, testified on behalf of Queen Marie-Antoinette during her trial and perished on the scaffold on April 28, 1794. His other grandfather Arthur, Count Dillon, had the same fate on April 13, 1794.
An inhabited castleHis son, Count Aymar (1846-1909) and his grandson, Count Hadelin (1887-1974) continued to maintain the castle without ever living there. The latter, in order to preserve the future of the castle, created an association with the aim of opening this heritage to the public. The association was chaired by his son, Count Christian de Liedekerke Beaufort (1927-1992) and under his aegis, important restoration work between 1969 and 1979 will be undertaken with the help of the state. Since 1986, his son, Count Hadelin de Liedekerke Beaufort (1955 - ) has been president of the association, whose objective is to maintain this family and historical heritage.
RENOVATION OF THE CASTLEDuring its rebirth between 1969 and 1979, the care taken in the decoration of the castle allows us to imagine and cross over time the different periods from the Middle Ages to the present day. The rooms of the castle have been brought back to life in part thanks to the 18th century furniture offered by Countess Athénaïs de Mortemart to Count Hadelin. Count Hadelin entrusted his wife with the upkeep and interior decoration of the Château de Vêves in order to continue the work undertaken by previous generations.
The regionNested in the hollow of a valley surrounded by four hills, Celles has very ancient origins (apogee in the year 669, when the monk Hadelin arrived). On the hill overlooking the collegiate church, a true masterpiece of Romanesque art, stands the hermitage of Saint-Hadelin. The small squares around the church, the traditional limestone habitat pleasantly decorated with flowers and trees, give the village a lot of charm and conviviality. Take the time to discover the original decorative elements: the old doors, the ridge spikes, metal anchors and staples, locks, pots, knockers, basement window screens... Other curiosities are worth the detour: the Great Fountain, the German tank ``Panther``, ... Two kilometres away, lies our superb Feudal Castle. This walk has whetted your appetite? Taste the local “chausson cellois” accompanied by a cuvée Saint Hadelin.
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