15 Sep 2009

Journees du Patrimoine: Chateau de Jehay

So Saturday I headed off to enjoy to visit a stain-glass window factory at Comblain-au-Pont... and got lost! :p
Apparently at one point I turned right when I should have turned left (I have since bought myself a road map) and after 45' with no idea where I was I saw a road sign for a city I did know and decided to give up on the stain glass in exchange for a Chateau...

But hey! Getting lost on back country roads around here means driving through some beautiful roads and through some cute towns with pretty churches:

and since it was a Saturday... well that means wedding parties walking around!

Anyhow, I was glad to find at least one place I had wanted to visit during the weekend: le Chateau de Jehay!

It's a 16th century Renaissance Chateau with some beautiful grounds and a series of sculpture, glass, ceramics, book, and coin collections.

Here I am ready to head in to follow a guided tour and learn all about this place:

If you can read French and are interested in the Chateau's history, you can visit the old website here.

Entrance gallery:

The late Count Guy van den Steen was quite a collector and also dabbled in quite a few hobbies, namely sculpting. Here's his auto-portrait as a "snow storm":

and his wife, Lady Moira Butler:

Apparently one of the Count's masterpieces, done in a new technique he developped to give the scene a better impression of depth, having the elements in the forefront be very detailed and really stick out, while those furthest in the background aren't as precise, as if hard to see in the distance... it's the end of the legend of a poor fellow who challenged the Greek Gods to a music competition (can't remember it right now, perhaps Juliette can remind me?):

Lovely rooms, lovely furnishings, interesting guide... nice visit!

My favourite among the many collections on display... coins! (I wish my collection was as lovely! and this was just one of four cases)

Check it out! The guy had an authentic "shrunken head" from a South American tribe! yikes!

These two "suits" are guarding the main entry and the access to the "off-limits" second floor (was occupied by the late Count until his death in 1999).

Ah, I have many fond memories of High School maths thanks to this fellow: Monsieur Pythagoras, he of the famous theorem!

When the Count returned home with his new wife after WW2 was over, this drum was actually the only thing he found in his house (the house had been emptied to serve as a children's orphanage/hospital during the war)! They had to refurnish it with items from his wife's properties in England...

Dinner anyone?

My favourite room in the place (as in many places I visit), the library! :o)

I thought this was such a cosy little tower room...

and loved the ceramic chandelier!

This was actually the first statue I saw as I walked into the grounds... very freaky preying mantis lady!!!

Walking around the park...

Take a closer look at the branches of that tree in the middle of the avenue, weird! Like 100% pine cone tree! I've never seen anything like it!

This maiden seems a tad bit sad...

The chateau looks even more enchanting cradled in the green:

This was a lovely statue, "Venus in her bath":

Hmm... you can tell it's Saturday, more lovebirds! I can sure understand why they'd want to come to this parc for their wedding photos... ;o)

Tomorrow: an old Abbey being restored.


  1. Wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing the trip with us, and narrating the tour. ;)
    I have been reading here and there when I have had the time. I wish I could be as consistent!

  2. What a great tour, Chris. I really need to make it some of these wonderful places, so steeped in history. Nice that you live in Europe, so travel is a tad easier. I enjoy all of your little educational byways.

  3. Very nice photos. I've never been to Europe and really feel like I'm missing out on so much history and beauty.

  4. Hey Nicky! Yeah, "back to school" season can be a bummer for "free time"... you've probably got more on your plate than you can handle right now, so thx for stopping by! :o)

    Nancy, there is a HUGE advantage to living in Europe... so many countries within a hair's breadth of each other. So much history and culture in hundred or thousand year old cities just waiting to come alive... I LOVE IT! (I must admit I miss the wild open nature spaces of the "New World" though...)

    Dive Girl, if you've never been to Europe then I'd say definitely yes you're missing out on a lot! Even the lightning "European tour" some people take is better than nothing... a sampling of sorts. Although personally I've learnt to appreciate seeing less but enjoying it more and not feeling rushed! I've come to accept the fact that I don't have enough time in a single lifetime to see everything I want to... so I'll just enjoy that which I do have the opportunity to see! And while I'm at it I'll share it with you guys!

    I'm glad you all enjoy it! :o)

  5. Another lovely tour by my favorite guide. Sad that the count came home to only a drum, but I like that it was used for an orphanage and hospital.

  6. Anonymous2/10/11 19:47

    I would love to visit the van den steen chateau. Guy was married before Lady Moira and the bust he made of his first wife is also lovely! (I have this bust and the divorce papers)

  7. Anonymous: really? I didn't know that! The guide didn't mention it. It's a lovely chateau and well worth the visit if you're ever in the area!


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