Chimay Castle has been owned by the Prince of Chimay and his ancestors for centuries, and it is open to the public for tours during part of the year. Although the castle was significantly damaged by a fire in 1935, the structure was subsequently rebuilt, and renovations continue under the current generation of the princely family.

Chimay Castle, the home of the Princes of Chimay for many generations, is an ancient stronghold, which some documents suggest may be as old as the year 1000. Through the years, the medieval bastion became a fortress. In the 15th century, the castle was altered: five new towers were linked by corridors to the keep, to increase its defensive potential. Over the centuries, the castle was damaged by many wars, looters and pillagers. Finally, in 1935, a fire destroyed much of what was left, including many irreplaceable works of art. Despite the damage, the princely family decided to rebuild the structure, and repairs have continued since that time.

Initially, writings relate the presence of the town of Chimay in the 11th century, though the settlement may have existed already in the 9th century. An act dating from 1065 and 1070 reveals the presence of Gauthier de Chimay. The strategic position of crossing the Eau Blanche river is a logical explanation for the establishment of an important family on the promontory.

The history of the castle of Chimay is rather vague during the Middle Ages; it seems that the Chimay branch became extinct in 1226. The land then passed to the control of the Counts of Soissons, who held it until 1317, when the castle of Chimay was owned by the Count of Hainaut, then of Blois. Around 1445, it was bought by Jean II de Croÿ from Philip the Good.

Jean II de Croÿ was exiled by Charles the Bold in 1465 and pardoned by him in 1473, leaving descendants of the line of Croÿ to lead the new county of Chimay. The place was at the height of its power in the 15th century: in 1486, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, erected Chimay into a principality. Unfortunately, waves of invading Austrian and French troops successively undermined the citadel.

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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Belgium

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User Reviews

Joy Kuster (2 years ago)
Gorgeous Château and surroundings. The gift shop of the castle is amazing! Beautiful picturesque town, nice to stroll, that showcases the importance of the castle with it's particular placement and architecture. Worth the drive!
Luc Trigaux (3 years ago)
I have been there a few times with friends or groups in the last 10 years. Twice during my visits I had the chance to meet the old princess of Chimay who is a charming and witty lady of great culture who loves to meet and have a chat with the visitors of her castle. The interactive visit (approx. 1 hour) is quite interesting, although the castle itself is not very large. It is certainly worth a visit on your way to the Chimay Experience and the Abbey of Scourmont where the monks brew the world famous Chimay trappist beers.
NichiMartin Key (3 years ago)
This is a beautiful castle and very lovely and quiet town. If you are looking for a quick get away, definitely visit.
Marijn Van der Houwen (3 years ago)
Beautifull chatou, we even met thr Princes
GalowHeLL The Đoge (4 years ago)
A truly magnificent experience! Family members are still present at the 'château' and the lovely grandmother was excited to tell the history of her ancestors! The theatre is amazing to see, almost 150 years of history to be seen first hand. The staff is very friendly, helpful and kind, definitely worth €9!
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