Almost completely disappeared at the end of the 19th century, the castle of Egmont in Herchies owes its survival to the Canon Edmond Puissant. Today occupied by a religious community, this former bastion was the property of illustrious families throughout its history. Discovery of this heritage charged with history.

An eventful history

The history of the bastion began in the 11th century. Wauthier, lord of Lens at the time, had a first fortress built on the outskirts of the village of Herchies, that his various successors will improve until 1325. The building then passes on to the families de Ressegem and de Gavre, before becoming the property of Nicolas Rolin, who built the dungeon around 1461. In 1570, Charles de Berlaymont and his wife Adrienne de Ligne restore the Castle before it moves on to the Egmont and Egmont-Pignatelli families who bought the domain during the French Revolution.

At the end of the 19th century, the castle is a set of ruins, only the 15th century dungeon and the canon’s quarters including a farm remain standing.

The building could have disappeared then if Edmond Puissant, great collector and passionate about heritage, had not purchased it. Author of several restorations of castles in Hainaut, the canon began its rescue and restores each of the stones still standing. In 1933, he bequeathed his heritage and his still visible collections in the Musée Chanoine Puissant to the city of Mons.

 

The Marie-Médiatrice Priory

A little away from the town of Herchies you also find the beautiful remains of the important bastion going back to early medieval times. These many changes today testify to a long history of many centuries, to the delight of visitors but also of the monks who live there.

Founded on 4 October 1985, on the site of the old castle, the Priory Marie-Médiatrice currently is home to twenty monks, who carry out the maintenance and restoration work on site. They provide small crafts consisting of the creation (or restoration) of paintings, statues and rosaries. A monastic store is selling their handmade products: baskets, jams, stoneware jars... A welcome package to share 'their prayer and their silence' is also possible. A few overnight stays which will undoubtedly offer the ideal conditions to fully live your moments of spirituality. Located amidst unspoilt nature, the park and the moat also provide a beautiful quiet area!