1244: Jacques de Wellin de la Vaux builds a simple tower in order to monitor the Bavay-Nassogne Roman road at the request of Andage Abbey (now Saint-Hubert).
1450: Jean II de Berlo builds a fortress, initially with three great towers connected by curtain walls.
1464: The fortress is besieged by a force from Dinant.
1500: The fourth tower is built.
1630: Jacques Renard de Rouveroit buys the estate.
1634: De Rouveroit converts the fortress into a Renaissance-style dwelling, including the addition of Rhenish-inspired bell-shaped roofs, the demolition of the north curtain wall and the construction of a Renaissance-style entrance gate. He expropriates the land of villagers at the foot of the castle in order to create his farms, forcing them to rebuild beyond the Wimbe (the stream that passes through Lavaux-Sainte-Anne and runs into the Lesse).
1637: Jacques Renard de Rouveroit and his descendants are ennobled, receiving the title of Baron from Emperor Ferdinand III.
1730: The chapel and Roman-style bathroom are created.
1734: The nephew of Baron Henry Joachim de Rouveroit, Florimond Claude de Mercy d’Argenteau, leaves Lavaux-Sainte-Anne to study in Turin at the age of seven. He has been raised by his uncle de Rouveroit since the age of two, after losing his mother at this tender age and being entrusted to de Rouveroit by his father, who is too busy fighting. At the age of 23 he embarks on a diplomatic career as Austrian Ambassador to the courts of Turin, St Petersburg and Warsaw. He negotiates the marriage of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette at Versailles, and reports in detail on Marie Antoinette’s actions and behaviour to her mother, the Empress.
1796: Local revolutionaries destroy the ‘fearful signs of tyranny’. The banners are removed from the roofs and the coats of arms are attacked with hammers.
1810: The estate is sold.
1924: The castle, in ruins, is sold to the company Berheim.
1933: The estate is donated to the non-profit organisation Les Amis du Château de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne created by Baroness Lemonnier, who fully finances the restoration of the site (at a cost of 4 million euros). Without her, the castle would be merely a ruin.
1936: Opening of the castle to the public.
1937: The castle is classified as a protected monument.
1942-1944: The Castle is used as a cache for artworks from the museums of Bruges and Antwerp. The German General Von Falkenhausen has the castle sealed in order to protect the artworks.
Our castle has belonged to the non-profit organisation Les Amis du château de Lavaux-Sainte-Anne since 1934. The organisation manages, maintains and restores the site, and gratefully accepts donations and bequests to the site and museums.
As is true of so many masterpieces, the fate of our castle depends on its ability to attract visitors and on their desire to safeguard this historic home – the gem of the Famenne Namuroise. It is up to us all to protect it!
Helping people discover the castle and its collections helps to preserve the estate.
Thank you for coming and enjoy your visit.