I visited this Belgian castle ruin in 2000 and 2005.
Franchimont Castle, locally known as Château de Franchimont, lies south of the village of Theux, in the province of Liège in the Wallonia region in Belgium.
The castle is an old fortress of the diocese of Liège. It was established on the earlier Carolingian estate of Theux, which was ceded to the church of Liège in 898. The original castle has been changed repeatedly during the Middle Ages. Probably in the 13th century but certainly in the 14th century after a destructive fire in 1387.
From 1477 till 1505 the jurisdiction of the Lords of Franchimont Castle was being transferred to the De La Marck family. During this turbulent period in the history of the diocese of Liège, the castle underwent a heavy siege in 1487.
Under the rule of bishop Erard de la Marck (1506-1538) the appearance of the castle changed considerably; the "old castle" was renovated to make it more comfortable, which meant bigger windows, a new chapel and an enlarged kitchen. Also new ramparts with a tower and casemates were built.
After the 16th century the military and strategic importance of Franchimont Castle diminished due to the advance of more modern artillery. This in contrast to fortified cities in the region as Dinant, Huy and Liège.
After 1795 (the Liège Revolution) Franchimont Castle fell into decay and became a ruin. During the beginning of the 19th century it was used as a quarry by the locals. Nowadays the castle ruins are owned by the village of Theux. The "Compagnons de Franchimont"-foundation carries out excavations and renovations.
This is a very cool castle to explore. I especially found the casemates very interesting. The stairways that give access to them, which are cut out in the solid rock, are small, very steep and long. They are freely accessible and illuminated. Below are some pictures inside these casemates, which captured the atmosphere well.
For the castle's official website, click here.
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