Jemeppe Castle is located in Hargimont, now part of the municipality of Marche-en-Famenne. It is known that during the Roman era a fortified villa was established in the region. The present castle is however of medieval origin.
In the Middle Ages the manor of Jemeppe consisted of only a few buildings, surrounded by marshland and the river Hedrée. These offered little protection against the ruling families of Namur and Luxembourg, who had been fighting to gain control of the territories of Durbuy and La Roche since the 12th century. A fortified house was built here in the early 13th century, later replaced by Jean d'Ochain with a donjon protected by moats.
Originally, the donjon had five storeys. Access to the upper and lower floors and the two cellars is via the ground floor, through the only door in the tower. The first two floors were designed as living quarters, and the two floors above that were of a more basic design and used as staff quarters, for storage, and to provide shelter for inhabitants from the manor of Jemeppe seeking refuge.
The donjon remained in the d'Ochain family until 1616, when the heiress, Catherine de Jemeppe, married Raes d'Ans, sieur de Velroux. It was probably Raes d'Ans, shortly after acquiring the property, who extended the fortified tower with living quarters into a square castle building. The wings of the castle, double moat and farmstead also date from that period. The wings were modernized in 1739 and 1748, and more windows were added. Restoration work was also carried out at the beginning of the 19th century, including on the gallery and the gatehouse next to the donjon.
In 1838, the castle passed to the de Sauvage-Vercour family. Between 1865 and 1875, Adrien de Sauvage-Vercour had extensive renovation work carried out on the castle. Attics and pitched roofs were added to the wings. He also commissioned an unknown architect to build a 'crowning apex' on the donjon, and the old flat roof was replaced by the present steep roof. After the work was completed, weathervanes in medieval style were added to the tower roofs. One of the vanes still bears the de Sauvage-Vercour monogram.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.