Château de Beloeil
For almost seven hundred years the Château de Beloeil has been in the possession of the aristocratic de Ligne family. The most brilliant member of this noble line was Charles-Joseph Lamoral, Prince de Ligne (1735-1814), diplomat, officer in the Austrian army, writer, and friend of many of the great figures of his time including Marie-Antoinette and Catherine the Great.
Chateau de Beloeil Map
Official site: www.chateaudebeloeil.com/en/
Address: Rue du Château 11, B-7970 Beloeil, Belgium
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Apr 29: 1pm-6pm; Closed: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
May 15 to Nov 20: 1pm-6pm
May 15 to Nov 20: 1pm-6pm
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €4.46, Child 12 & under €3.71
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Chateau de Beloeil Highlights
Chateau de Beloeil Interior
The rooms of the château are superbly furnished with a wealth of period furniture, Gobelin tapestries, glass and porcelain etc. belonging to the de Ligne family. Especially noteworthy is Prince Charles-Joseph's apartment with its series of paintings depicting episodes in his life, the Salle des Médailles with its valuable coin collection, the library which has over 20,000 volumes (including an hour-book dated 1532 and said to have belonged to Charles V), the dining-room hung with superb Gobelins, the Salon des Ambassadeurs with its magnificent painting by Canaletto ("Canale Grande in Venice") and the Tour Maria-Antoinette where some locks of hair from the head of the French queen, executed in 1793, are preserved in a pouch knitted from gold yarn.
Chateau de Beloeil Chapel
Precious items of religious art, e.g. coral sculptures and enamel work from Limoges, can be seen in the chapel created in 1950 in the right-hand wing.
The 120ha/296 acre park of Belgium's "Little Versailles" was designed and laid out in the 18th C. by Prince Claude Lamoral II, with the aid of the French architect Chevotet. A series of small hedged gardens, several with pools, are arranged in typical Roccoco fashion around the 460m/1,500ft long ornamental lake known as Le Grand Pièce d'Eau, at the far end of which stands a Neptune group by Henrion. The splendid 5km/3mile Allée Grande Vue extends beyond the boundaries of the park itself.
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Nov 30: 10am-6pm
Entrance fee: FREE
With English-style gardens very much in fashion at the end of the 18th C., Prince Charles-Joseph had one laid out to the side and rear of the left-hand wing. This part of the park remains private and is not open to the public.
Parcs des Attractions
Some years ago various attractions were added, utilizing land on the west side of the estate (orangery and kitchen garden). They include a restaurant, a childrens' playground, and "Park Minibel", a 1:25 scale reconstruction of some of Belgium's most famous sights and buildings - the Huy Collégiale, Liége railroad station, Brussels Town Hall, the Bruges Belfry, Zeebrugge harbor, and much more. A miniature train ferries tourists between château and amusement area.