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HAM SUR HEURE

This impressive castle functions now as town hall and houses a museum of rural life and handcrafts. However this castle goes of course way back in time to the dark Middle Ages. It existence was already documented in the 10th century when it was owned by the Florennes family. Godefroid was the Lord in the year 1092. His hairres Hawide married Godefroid III de Morialmé and in 1259 it was passed on by marriage to the Condé family. After that it was in the hands of the following families; de Fosseux the de Bourgogne and the Enghien family. In 1487 it became property of the Merode family and they would rule over the castle for five centuries. Nobody knows how the original structure looked like. However when the Merode family arrived in 1487 they turned it into a five-tower castle plus a keep (that probably dated back from an earlier period) at the northeast and a fortified residence to the southwest. The castle was seriously damaged by the troops of Louis XIV who had ordered to destroy the keep in 1667. Marshal d'Humieres completed the destruction of the remaining towers in 1689. The castle was rebuilt but considerably remodeled at the behest of Count Joachim-Maximilien de Mérode. During the late 18th century, Balthazar-Philippe de Mérode-Montfort entrusted Laurent-Benoît Dewez with further renovation work and architect Langeroc to create an appearance in the gothic tradition also did major renovations in 1899-1900. Between 1941 and 1952, the château belonged to the d'Oultremont family who sold it to the local authority, the Commune of Ham-sur-Heure.

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