Château de la Motte Fénelon

Cambrai, France

Château de la Motte Fénelon was designed in 1850 by the famous Parisian architect Jacques Ignace Hittorff. It was built for Alphonse Brabant de Leau (1818-1881) and called first Château de Morenchies according the former commune near Cambrai. In 1962 it was bought by the Maison Familiale group. The castle was renamed in 1975 after its new owner families.

During the both World Wars the château was occupied by German troops and damaged. Today it is restored as a hotel.



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Founded: 1850
Category: Castles and fortifications in France


4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tony Le Riche (2 years ago)
The Chateau is conveniently located within a good walk to the Town Centre and easy to drive to. The restaurant is good but the wine was quite expensive
Leslie-Ann Davis (2 years ago)
Very good and extremely comfortable. Excellent assistance from all of the staff. Nothing to find fault with. A happy stay.
John McClane (2 years ago)
A hotel hidden away in Cambrai. The breakfast was ok, but it’s not included in the price for the room. I stayed in the ”Orangerine” part of the hotel. The room didn’t have any AC, but a floor fan. The main building is very nice and fulfills the ”Chateau” expectations, both inside and outside.
Olaf Arlt (2 years ago)
Great beds. Especially the option to book extra-large beds are a rare option in hotels that I highly appreciate being a tall person. The Chateau is situated in a huge park, making the surroundings totally quiet. You have the choice to stay in the Chateau itself or - a little cheaper - in the Orangerie, which is located only a few meters to the left of the main entrance. The Prestige Rooms are really large and all rooms very nicely equipped. Another bonus is the great restaurant in the cellar of the Chateau. A bit on the expensive side (you can easily pay the same amount for two people dining as you have to pay for the room), but totally worth it. The waiters there were very friendly and helpful. If you bring a dog, you need to stay in the L'Orangerie, because they are not allowed in the Chateau. When we sat without our dog in the restaurant, which is located in the cellar of the Chateau, we were a bit surprised to see another guest walk in and sit down at a table with his dog unchallenged. So the rules seem to be a bit fuzzy. The only thing I missed is a terrace to sit outside and maybe some place with deck chairs to enjoy the lovely garden on warm days. So if you want to stay there a night to rest before you continue driving to the coast, this place is perfect. If you want to stay there for several days to relax, I wouldn't be so sure, what to do there exactly.
Cristina Sala Camps (3 years ago)
Nice staff, excellent service, very clean. Romantic and glamourus-decadence ambiance. Large outdoors to enjoy. We spent a couple of night with the whole family and we all enjoyed it very much.
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Cochem Castle

The original Cochem Castle, perched prominently on a hill above the Moselle River, served to collect tolls from passing ships. Modern research dates its origins to around 1100. Before its destruction by the French in 1689, the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.

In 1151 King Konrad III ended a dispute over who should inherit Cochem Castle by laying siege to it and taking possession of it himself. That same year it became an official Imperial Castle (Reichsburg) subject to imperial authority. In 1282 it was Habsburg King Rudolf’s turn, when he conquered the Reichsburg Cochem and took it over. But just 12 years later, in 1294, the newest owner, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle, the town of Cochem and the surrounding region in order to finance his coronation. Adolf’s successor, Albrecht I, was unable to redeem the pledge and was forced to grant the castle to the archbishop in nearby Trier and the Electorate of Trier, which then administered the Reichsburg continuously, except for a brief interruption when Trier’s Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had to pawn the castle to a countess. But he got it back a year later.

The Electorate of Trier and its nobility became wealthy and powerful in large part due to the income from Cochem Castle and the rights to shipping tolls on the Moselle. Not until 1419 did the castle and its tolls come under the administration of civil bailiffs (Amtsmänner). While under the control of the bishops and electors in Trier from the 14th to the 16th century, the castle was expanded several times.

In 1688 the French invaded the Rhine and Moselle regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the Reichsburg and then laid waste not only to the castle but also to Cochem and most of the other surrounding towns in a scorched-earth campaign. Between that time and the Congress of Vienna, the Palatinate and Cochem went back and forth between France and Prussia. In 1815 the western Palatinate and Cochem finally became part of Prussia once and for all.

Louis Jacques Ravené (1823-1879) did not live to see the completion of his renovated castle, but it was completed by his son Louis Auguste Ravené (1866-1944). Louis Auguste was only two years old when construction work at the old ruins above Cochem began in 1868, but most of the new castle took shape from 1874 to 1877, based on designs by Berlin architects. After the death of his father in 1879, Louis Auguste supervised the final stages of construction, mostly involving work on the castle’s interior. The castle was finally completed in 1890. Louis Auguste, like his father, a lover of art, filled the castle with an extensive art collection, most of which was lost during the Second World War.

In 1942, during the Nazi years, Ravené was forced to sell the family castle to the Prussian Ministry of Justice, which turned it into a law school run by the Nazi government. Following the end of the war, the castle became the property of the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate). In 1978 the city of Cochem bought the castle for 664,000 marks.