- Architectural heritage
Built in the XVIIth century, the castle and its famous gardens can be found in in the village of Annevoie-Rouillon, province of Namur.
The castle is not open to the public, but the XVIIIth century water gardens themselves deserve a full day-trip.
Designed in 1758 by Charles-Alexis de Montpellier who had travelled extensively through Europe, they showcase the harmony of a park inspired by a variety of styles: French strict perspectives, British creativity, Italian charm... Even more spectacular are the many water features, fountains, jets, waterfalls, streams and lakes adding to the magic of the place. No wonder these gardens are renowned for their beauty and cultural heritage...
The castle was constructed in 1627 but extensively modified in the late 18th century by the Montpellier family who constructed a large interior courtyard and added a graceful classical façade overlooking the moat with views to the extensive water gardens, which are considered to be amongst the finest in Europe. They combine the best elements of English, French and Italian garden design of the time and were planned by Charles-Alexis Montpellier who travelled extensively throughout Europe in the 1750s. There are more than 50 fountains, cascades, water jets and 20 ornamental ponds set in a rolling landscape covering over 22 hectares.
Visitors can walk from an idyllic English scene of brooks flowing by a large grotto through woodland to a long avenue of hornbeams lined with Italianate Roman statues. In the symmetrical French part of the gardens, elaborate flower beds line the Grand Drive bordered by a granite-lined canal. The Montpellier family owned the estate until 2000 when it was sold to a local businessman, and in the past 15 years the gardens have been expanded and today cover more than 55 hectares. The castle is no longer open to the public.