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Author Topic:   Château de Valenciennes (+ Hesdin)
posted 11-11-2002 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message

Does any know where i can find info about the (lost) castle of Valenciennes (the old capital of Hainaut, now in northern north France at the border with Belgium). In the middle ages it was the residence of the earls of Hainaut and Holland of the Avesnes & Wittelsbach dynasties and later it became a residence of the dukes of Burgundy. And from there it vanished for me out of history. I am wondering how did it look like, when was it destroyed etc.

thx in advance

And before i forget, does some know where i can find (more) info about the castle of Hesdin, also in the north of France, it was a former residence of the earls of artois. The parcs of this medieval castle were very known through hydraulic machines (similar to the machines of Hellbrunn castle near Salzburg, Austria). I self found only these sites:

maybe some one else knows a lot more about this castle

posted 11-14-2002 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
Book arrived today .. 'Chateaux Chevaliers, en Hainaut au Moyen Age'.
Page 134 Valencienns La Salle le Conte.
There is no picture, but if you want me to photo-copy the information, let me know ?
The book is in French.

Anita & I visited there about 5-years ago looking for various sites, and walked around the very pleasent town of Hesdin.
The area you are now asking about is known as 'Le Parc', and just away from the modern town. There is nothing to be seen only very pretty countryside. For those that are wondering about the area I quote;
how many know that Hesdin once possesed a pleasure garden that was as famous as Versailles during Louis XIV's reign, a garden which used to be visited by the most influential European Kings and princes and which was as colossal and as amazing as some present-day fun parks ? Let us go back into history. We are in 1295 and Robert le Pieux, returning from the Court of Palermo where he was fascinated by some clever and magnificent automata, decided to create "his" park, a fabulous garden of wonders in fact. he choose to locate it between the river Canche and the river Ternoise, in an area where the valley is very attractive in itself. For 258 years, thanks to the Dukes of Burgundy who came after the Capetians in 1384, the Wonders of Hesdin were famous throughout the Middle Ages. Thsi lasted until 1533, the year when they were destroyed on the orders of Charles V on account of the fidelity of the town to the King of France. The pPark, covering 2350 acres and surrounded by a n 8-mile long wall, stretched between the castle built by Baudouin de Mans (11thC) which dominated the old town of Hesdin ( now Vieil-Hesdin) and the river Ternoise. Nowdays the area comes within the nearby small commune of Le Parcq. What could be seen ?
Inside a vast wooded garden, there were streams, an artificial pond and some "theme" galleries, an aviary, the "gaiole", where birds, paintings or automata would spill water out of there bills.
What else ?
Exotic animals, living and stuffed beasts ... a glass Chapel. The "midi", a gigantice sundial carried by six wild men and six lions, the gallery of pranks, with its machines spraying the visitors before tipping flour or black powder over them, its springs which soaked peoples clothes, its wooden characters clubbing those that drew near ... its wooden hermit who could provoke rain, snow, flashes of lightning and claps of thunder ... a bridge which, as it gace way, threw careless visitors into the water .... '
And all that was built when ?????
Phew !
That's enough for now.

posted 11-15-2002 05:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
wow, thx very much, it is almost unbelievable that such a castle and park as hesdin once so famous, now almost is disappeared in history

it would be really great if you would copy me the info of valenciennes.

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