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The Castle of Fosteau

The castle of Fosteau is built on a light rise of the low relief in the borough of Thuin. The name of Fosteau derives from 'forestry worker'. In 1235, Gilles de Barbençon and the monks of the abbey of Lobbes paid salary to a forestry worker for the maintenance of the abbey’s territory. On this territory, a powerful tower was constructed first in 1380 by Jean Clutinc. During the same year, Wauthier of Semousies accepted the ownership of the property from the Duchess Jeanne of Brabant.

In the course of time, the tower was transformed into a strong holding house, which purpose was to resist the small troops' offensives for a few hours.
This strong holding house passed successively to the Sars’ familly and then to the Zwemmes. Later, the Marotte family became the owner of the castle and it undertook important refurbishments. A beautiful French style garden going down in successive terraces to a pond was also created.

Between the 17th and the 19th centuries, other developments came to supplement the castle.
Today 7 towers constitute the castle which regroups a polygonal courtyard, a strong holding house built at the end the of 14th century, and a strengthened low courtyard of the 17th century that was restored during the 18th and the 19th century. A second farm was attached to the castle by 1839.

The castle of Fosteau also shelters a chemist's shop museum as well as a room dedicated to Honoré Charles Reille (general, count of Empire, Field marshal of France), who stayed at the Fosteau the 14th June 1815 with the second corps (24360 men). On June 16, the second corps of the géneral Reille took part at the Battle of " Quatre bras" and on June 18, they joined the fights in the Battle of Waterloo.

The strong holding house contains the prestigious room of the Knights (end of 14th century) one of the nicest gothic rooms of Belgium. The castle and its dependencies are classified as monuments and the surroundings are listed as a site since 1979. Since 1980, the Castle holds a permanent exhibition, as well as antique sales and cultural events.

Opening times: From 1 April to 31 October: Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, open from 2 pm to 7 pm. From 1 November to 31 March: open from 2pm to 6 pm. Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Guided tours: Guided tour of the castle, Le Petit Musée Vivant de la Pharmacie, Memorial to General Count Reille and the French gardens by the owner all days of the week, but only on request.
Duration for the visit : 1h30

Address : Rue du Marquis 1,  Leers-et-Fosteau (Thuin) - Belgium
Tel : + 32 71 59 23 44 - info@fosteau.be

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Belgian Tourist Office Wallonia 217 Marsh Wall London E14 9FJ Tel: 0207 531 0390 info@belgiumtheplaceto.be