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Walzin Castle: Belgian Neuschwanstein on the Lesse River




Less than 10 kilometers from the center of Dinant there is an ancient castle of Walzin, one of the largest and most beautiful defensive structures in Belgium. Its powerful walls offer breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings.

General view of the castle Walzin
General view of the castle. Photo: Nenea hartia, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The castle is a classic example of an outpost built on a rock. This location, comparable to an eagle’s nest, provides a strategic advantage due to excellent visibility of the surrounding area. This allowed Walzin Castle to be not only a residential residence, but also a real fortress

View of the castle Walzin from the river Lesse
View of the castle from the river Lesse. Photo: Jean-Pol GRANDMONT, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Walzin Castle was built in the 13th century. Since its owners occupied important positions in the government and were constantly involved in military conflicts, the fortress was often attacked. Over the years of its existence, it was destroyed from land for four times, only watchtowers of the 11th century have survived. There were also military attacks, among which were the sieges of the Prince-Bishop of Liege in 1489 and the French army in 1554.

Walzin Castle
Walzin Castle. Photo: Marc Ryckaert (MJJR), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

In the 15th century, during the Renaissance, a horseshoe-shaped tower with four cannon ports was added. It still exists today.

View of the Walzin castle and river Lesse
View of the castle and river Lesse. Photo: Torsade de Pointes, via Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

At the end of the 16th century, the next owner of the complex restored the destroyed buildings and expanded the castle. During the French Revolution, Walzin Castle was badly damaged and all archives were destroyed.

Walzin Castle
Walzin Castle. Photo: Nenea hartia, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A major renovation began after Baron Alfred Brugmann bought the ruins in 1850. In 1881, the work was completed by the architect Émile Janlet . Unfortunately, we can only see the result in pictures and drawings, because in 1930 Baron Frédéric Brugmann de Walzin began a new stage of reconstruction. The process was led by the architect Octave Flanneau, and after its completion in 1932, Walzin Castle acquired the romantic look that is now widely known.

View of the castle Walzin from the river Lesse
View of the castle from the river Lesse. Photo: Nenea hartia, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

It is worth noting the gardens of the castle, designed by the architect Louis Julien Breydel, who is known for his work in the Botanical Garden of Brussels.

View of the castle Walzin from the bird's eye view
View of the castle from the bird’s eye view. Photo: Domergue, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Today, Walzin Castle belongs to the Count and Countess de Limburg-Stirum, direct descendants of Henry IV Duke of Limburg and Guillaume de la Marche.

Walzin Castle
Walzin Castle. Photo: Nenea hartia, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Due to the inspiring romantic appearance displayed in works of art and literature, Walzin Castle is sometimes called the “Belgian Neuschwanstein”. Still, it can only be admired from afar, as long as the access to it is closed.

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