- Woodland, nature reserve or natural area
- Lake, water body or waterway
- Park (castles)
- Architectural heritage
The Solvay Estate in La Hulpe, listed as "Exceptional cultural site in Wallonia", features part of the Sonian Forest and the Château de La Hulpe.
Welcome to this park, planted with 1,000 rhododendrons... Visitors can enjoy many strolls there, admiring its lawns, remarkable trees, hills and ponds.
A spot of history
Built for the Marquis Maximilien de Béthune as an elegant manor house on the outskirts of Brussels in the 1840s, the chateau stands on a hill overlooking a lake set in a park of mature trees which extends for more than 220 hectares. In 1893 the estate was bought by wealthy industrialist Ernest Solvay who redesigned the park and extensively remodelled the chateau from its original Flemish neo-renaissance style to a more classical appearance fronted by a French formal garden.
The rest of the estate was laid out in the English romantic style, with rhododendrons, azaleas and woodlands of a variety of trees, including massive redwoods and oak. A large lake was created with carefully planned alleyways and vantage points offering pleasing views through the woods. The entire property was donated to the regional government of Wallonia in 1968 on condition that it should be used for cultural purposes.
There are three 5 km walks to explore the estate.
The Folon Foundation
The former chateau farm is now an exhibition space and office for the Folon Foundation, dedicated to the work of one of the most famous Belgian artists.
The Château de La Hulpe
The castle itself cannot be visited. It can, however, be rented for private events, dinners, receptions, meetings, weddings and filming.
Good to know
- Possibility to have lunch or dinner at the L'Homme bleu tavern
- Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leash
- Free catering
- Car parking