First owners, called 'de Longchamps'
Construction of the Empire style Castle
Castle filed as historical heritage
1450-1700 – Family de la Neuville – Longchamps
The castle's history dates back from the 15th century. The first known owner was Fastre de la Neuville, also known as de Longchamps, who was mayer of Waremme in 1449. The previous Renaissance Castle was built during that period, however the exact construction date remains unknown. The Lords of Longchamps remained the owners until the wedding of Anne-Françoise de Longchamps, the last of the name, with Charles de Fabritius (1626-1685).
1700 – The Sélys Longchamps Family
The daughter of Charles de Fabritius and Anne-Françoise de Longchamps, Marie-Catherine de Fabritius, got married in 1700 with Walthère de Sélys (1663-1711), who received the title of Baron of the Holy Empire in 1699. In 1710 the couple inherited the castle, which was renamed Château de Sélys Longchamps, still owned by their descendants.
1805-1815 – Construction of the Empire Castle & creation of the Parc
Michel-Laurent de Sélys Longchamps and his Parisian wife Marie-Denise Gandolphe, art lover, ordered the construction of the current castle. The Parisian architect Aimé Dubois created a castle fully designed in the first empire style, which is exceptional in Belgium, while integrating with the remainings of the old Renaissance castle. The jewel of the architect is the Napoleon's Tent, whih represents the tent of Napoleon during his campaign in Egypt. The English style parc was designed by the famous garden architect Fuchs. Michel-Laurent and his son Michel-Edmond imported an impressive collection of trees from North America, as well as other exotic plants & trees.
Second World War
Between 1940 and 1945, the Castle was invaded by the German army, then occupied by the Americans who installed their local quarters at the liberation of Belgium. From this period remain for example the horses' names on the stalls' walls...
2014 – Historical heritage
After years of procedure, the Castle is eventually recognized as historical heritage by the Walloon Region. For the owners, this represents a recognition for of the exceptional character of the Castle and its parc, maintained by the descendants of the founders, generation after generation.
Family Members to remember…
Jean de Sélys Longchamps (1912-1943)
RAF fighter pilot, DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross)
Raphaël de Sélys Longchamps (1841-1911)
Michel Edmond de Sélys Longchamps (1813-1900)
President of the Senate and Scientist (Source: Palais de la Nation (Brussels))
Michel Laurent de Sélys Longchamps (1759-1837)
Governor of the Ourthe Department & Founder of the existing castle