Discover Benelux | Castles & Estates | Historical Heritage in Belgium
A castle to remember TEXT: BETTINA GUIRKINGER | PHOTOS: STEEV’ART PHOTOGRAPHY, 2015
Located in a region world famous for its beer, Château de Chimay is a historical monument unique in its kind and a must-see on a visit to the Belgian countryside. Estimated to be over a thousand years old, it is one of the few still inhabited by its owners. Let the visit begin! Opening to the general public shortly after the Second World War, Château de Chimay started welcoming music aficionados to its festivals and cultural events from 1958 onwards. “At the time, there were only three events in the region people would go to, and my father wanted to share his love for music in his own home,” 54 | Issue 27 | March 2016
says current owner, Prince Philippe de Chimay. “Our castle is very orientated towards music, given one of its peculiarities: having its own theatre!” Seating 130 guests, the theatre was entirely rebuilt in 1863 and since then has been renovated and upgraded in a constant effort to keep it authentic yet modern. Welcoming up to 25,000 visitors in the recent years, every possible effort has been made to keep the castle at the highest standards.
A family story “I feel that what is most interesting about the castle is the fact that we live here, it
is a family-run castle and our visitors get a sense of that when they come to visit us. My mother use to lead the visits for 40 years but when she turned 90 we needed to find an alternative to classic guiding…” With the help of an interactive design company, they recorded her for two years and created an interactive visit on a tablet that takes the visitor at their own pace through the different areas of the castle. Children will see a small knight accompanying them on screen inviting them to play different games. Visitors might feel a shiver when hearing about the story of recurring visiting ghosts to