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ROCHEFORT

We find the first mention of this castle in 1155 when it is the property of the family Montaigu. Unfortunately, not much is known about this period. After that time it became property of the Walcourts and qualified as the biggest castle in the area. The castle was remodeled in the 17th and 18th century. Count van Rochefort, the prince of the Empire, wanted to make of the old stronghold, a palace. The keep was taken down; walls were demolished or integrated in the new building. This new castle is well known to us because of the detail plans we still have from 1746 of this palace. The domain went from one family to another. A brick square house was built in 1840. A new neo-gothic castle was built in 1906, which is now a school. The ruin became a protected monument in 1966. And were restored, strengthened and opened to the public. Because of the strategic setting of the castle it was throughout the centuries often under siege. In 1445 an army of French soldiers under the command of captain Nadonnet arrived at the gates. After a few days of battle the Nadonnet is bribed and he returns back to France. The year is 1651 and there is a war between Spain and France. Colonel Latour van Lotharingen who fights on the Spanish side takes the castle and for three months it is used as quarters for his army. In 1653 the castle is again under siege. This time it is the troops of Count van Duras who fights on the French side, who tries to take the castle. This siege is however a failure. A few months’ later Duras returns but again he cannot take the castle. He is so frustrated that he destroys Eprave and Behoge instead. 1674 the castle is taken by the troops of the Empire who use it as barracks. At the end of the Ancient Regime (1774) the castle was stormed by the inhabitants of Rochefort. They were able to get in the castle but were not able to enter the housing of the Count. I personally visited the ruins in June 2001. The visit was enjoyed although the ruins are not very spectacular, it will give you a good idea how this massive castle once looked. There is also a great view over the village and surrounding landscape from the towers. You will find a little museum in one of the remaining towers. Take the E414 to Dinant, Take the Exit Rochefort and you will find the ruin in the middle of town.
I have a lot more pictures of this castle HERE

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