In 1274, a moated defense tower was built on the site of today's Oberau castle. The specialty of this residential tower is the internal stairs and the external living rooms. In 1550, Ernst von Miltitz had an impressive, elongated new building built in the Renaissance style with accentuated gable tops next to the residential tower. In 1594 the building was thoroughly redesigned to create a renaissance castle.
In the 17th century painted wooden ceilings were installed in the castle, but their boards were used in a different way from 1807. The painting was retained. In 1803 the construction of Oberau Castle was restored. Valuable stucco work was created during this construction work. In the period from 1807 to 1878, the manor received its form that is characteristic of today. At the beginning of this period in particular, the castle got its striking appearance. Traditions from the end of 1853 tell of a single bridge - probably a drawbridge - that led across the moat to the castle. In 1860 the northeast wing was built, the style of which was adapted to the existing parts of the building. This gave the castle an angular floor plan and aneo-Gothic stair tower.
After the end of the Second World War, displaced persons were quartered in the castle. The entire building was occupied from the basement to the roof. After some families moved away, some rooms were rebuilt. In the period that followed, ten displaced families still found accommodation in the castle. These conversions were later also used by a children's home. As there was not enough space for the children's home, plans were made to demolish the castle. The demolition is delayed, however, as the resettlement families still lived in the castle. In 1946 the manor building was redesigned so that it could be used for other purposes. The large palace gardens were also significantly affected by the renovations.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.