The Château de Boussu
A true symbol of Boussu, the castle promises a fascinating journey in time!
In the region of Mons, castles like that of Boussu, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Its history, its architect, its owners, and especially what it represents in the eyes of the Boussutois cannot leave anyone unmoved. You need to go to the proximity of station of Boussu to discover the magnificent setting in which the ruins of the Castle stand. A 12 hectare park and the entrance Châtelet, now transformed into an interpretation centre, remain of the sumptuous Renaissance residence designed by Jacques Du Broeucq.
When the walls talkWhen you enter this Châtelet-Museum you will discover a jewel in the crown of the Hainaut heritage. Built in the 16th century by Du Broeucq on the site of a medieval fortress, it was considered at the time « the prettiest residence you can see in all the Netherlands, a residence fit for a king, ... » according to Pierre Du Mont L'Ancien around 1600. The property of Jean de Hennin-Liétard, great squire of the Emperor Charles V, it has seen many famous characters in its walls: Charles V, Philippe II, Louis XIV, or Guillaume III. Ravaged by successive wars, it today unfolds its history through exhibitions and multiple archaeological items found on the site in the 1980s.
Coins, keys, pottery, cannonballs, musket bullets, toys.... An incredible number of objects presented in showcases take the visitors on a journey through time, from the Gallo-Roman era to the 20th century. You can imagine the importance of the counts of Boussu in the region, their way of life, the feasts of the era, the violent battles to defend their territory. The latest destruction date back to World War II. Requisitioned by the German army, the Park and the Castle were blown up on 2 September 1944.
Saved at the eleventh hour
And to think that this gem almost disappeared under a housing estate in the 1980s. Without the passion of Marcel Capouillez, then Professor of history, and a handful of Boussutois, this beautiful residence probably would have fallen into oblivion, buried under concrete. Together, they managed to mobilise the local residents to save their Castle. Today, stronghold of all cultural and festive events, the castle of the counts of Boussu is the unifying element of the municipality.
There is always something going on. Nothing seems to stop Marcel Capouillez and its ASBL “Gy Seray Boussu" that now manages the site! Heritage days, the Renaissance banquet, exhibitions... The Château de Boussu writes a new page in its history.
A small tip: If you visit the site, allow time for a walk in the Park of the Castle. The latter takes over the layout of an English romantic park and was created in the 19th century under Maurice de Caraman, last count of Boussu. The centenarian trees are home to many birds and insects. Beehives have even been installed and are working to make honey at the Castle, the best in the area!
Château de Boussu, rue du moulin 43, 7300 Boussu, tel : 065/77.82.65