CASTLE en GARDENS of FREYR on the MEUSE
Outstanding premises (castle and gardens) protected as exceptional inheritance of Wallonie (Belgium).
It is located along the Meuse opposite to rocks (paradise of alpinists) looking down upon the river and surrounded by a wild and untouched nature.
From the 14th century until today, a link of 20 generations of direct descendants have developed here an enchanting feeling.
After the destruction of the medieval castle (1554), a Renaissance country house was built, and later (early 17th century) enlarged into a four wings building with an inner yard. Two gardens located along the river flanked the house.
In the middle of the 18th century, the castle was refitted to assume its new function as the summer ducal residence of the Beaufort-Spontin.
This complex still inhabited, that three Ladies brought to their husbands, is now in the hand of a Foundation.
This dwelling place which was visited by royal guests such as Louis XIV, Stanislas Leszczynski, Maria Christina of Austria and Naru Hito,
is adorned in a refined and cosmopolitan manner.
History left its trace when the treaty of Freÿr was signed (1675) and coffee drunk for the first time in the country.
Furthemore, one can discover:
the eating room centered on an impressive Renaissance mantelpiece,
an enchanting children coach (17th) that won the first price at the World Exhibition in Paris (1889),
two halls, one of which recalls an Italian Palace with hunting scenes by Snyders and frescos on the ceiling,
some classical lounges, a set of bedrooms and a Rococo chapel full of peace and joy.
Starting in 1760, the Renaissance gardens were redrawn in classical style inviting to meditation by canon William of Beaufort-Spontin.
They release a captivating atmosphere when looking at the grass-beds under the shadow of the lime trees, listening to the peaceful song of the fountains and breathing the fragrance of the orange trees most of which originated from the Court of Lorraine and are nearing 350 years .
In winter, these trees are kept in the oldest orangeries of the Low Countries.
As from 1770, Philip, youngest brother of William enlarged the gardens by drawing a second major axis perpendicular to the Meuse and terraced on the hillside up to the Frederic Hall, a small Belvedere , Rococo masterwork with refined stucco of the Brothers Moretti.
This second axis unfolds a garden in the style of Le Nôtre although dating from the end of the 18th century.
It is surrounded by intimist mazes (6 km) made of hornbeam hedges.
Quotations from Visitors
This place releases a flavour of eternity : a house out of the course of time, which displays restraint, simplicity and a womanlike attractiveness.
A ghost ship moored to the bank of the Meuse river as a castle of the Loire.
The most French looking of the castles and gardens of Belgium.
An harmonious blending of inspirations stemming from France, Italy, the Dutch speaking countries and Central Europe.
A garden that breathes out deep peace and serenity and invites to contemplation and meditation.
If Beloeil has the splendour and luster of a symphonic orchestra, Freÿr has the charm and intimacy of a chamber orchestra.