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Marquis Maximiliaan Bethune – Hesdigneul purchased 220 hectare of forest and erected a castle on the highest point that looks like the mighty castles you find in the French Loire area. The castle was finished in 1842. The good is sold in 1871 to Baron Antoine de Roest d’Alkemade who sells it in 1893 to Ernest Solvay. The name Solvay is now world famous as the chemical multinational of the same name. Ernest is enormously wealthy and puts his money to good use. The schools, libraries and scientific institutes he founded are numerous. The year 1929 starts the restorations, which continue until 1932. Ernest donated the castle and enormous park to the Belgian government in 1968.
The castle is not open although you can rent it for parties, meetings, weddings, etc. The 220 hectare park is open and free to walk in. This park is gigantic and it seems to go on forever. Parts of the park have nice lawns and flowerbeds yet leaving large parts still savage forest. A great place to spend a summer day with a bountiful filled picnic basket and romantic walks with your lover. You can reach the castle by taking the E411 Brussels – Namen, take Exit 3 and follow the signs.