Brussels Sightseeing Tours
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Hidden Treasures of Belgium Tour from Brussels
Modave Castle - one of the Hidden Treasures
Departing from Brussels, it's a one hour drive through Walloonlandscape to the Modave Castle, one of the most beautiful ones in Belgium, situated on a rock in the middle of a nature reserve. There you will enjoy an audio guided tour.
A lunch in the castle is optional and available for purchase on-site.
Following the lunch break, there's a drive by Namur to admire the magnificant scenery from the citadel.
Then, it's on to the Villers Abby, founded in 1146. Its majestic ruins give a marvelous idea of the life of monks in medieval times. You visit this hidden treasure on your own pace.
The Château is situated near the village of Modave in the province of Liège Belgium. The oldest part of the building, the so-called donjon, was built on a strategic rock high above the valley of the river Hoyoux. The oldest parts still visible today date probably back to the 13th century and were erected by the Lords of Modave. In the 16th-century the chateau and the land of Modave became property of the Haultepenne and de Saint-Fontaine families. In the next century, the Comte of the nearby Marchin became the new owner. It was Jean-Gaspard-Ferdinand de Marchin (1601-1673), a great military commander, who turned the medieval fortress in a luxury baroque residence. His son Ferdinand de Marsin neglected the castle and lived in France. Later it came into the possession of Maximilian Henry of Bavaria (1682 - 1684), Cardinal William Egon of Furstenberg, and his heirs (1684 - 1706), Baron Arnold de Ville (1706 - 1772), and Anne-Léon, Duke of Montmorency and his heirs (1772 - 1817). In the 19th century, it was owned by the non-noble families Lamarche, Braconier and Van Hoegaerden. Finally, the "Compagnie Intercommunale Bruxelloise des Eaux" bought the property in March 1941, in order to protect the important water catchments in the park. They still own it today and have been restoring the castle with great care. It is open to visitors from April until October and it is also used as a prestigious venue for concerts and receptions.
Villers Abbey (abbaye de Villers) is an ancient Cistercian abbey located near the town of Villers-la-Ville in the Brabant province of Wallonia (Belgium), one piece of the Wallonia's Major Heritage. Founded in 1146, the abbey was abandoned in 1796. Most of the site has since fallen into ruins. In 1146, twelve Cistercian monks and three lay brothers from Clairvaux came to Villers in order to establish the abbey on land granted them by Gauthier de Marbais. After establishing several preliminary sites (Villers I and Villers II), work was finally undertaken in the 13th century to build the current site. The choir was constructed by 1217, the crypt by 1240 and the refectory by 1267. The church itself took seventy years to build and was completed by the end of the century. During this period, the abbey reached the height of its fame and importance. Contemporary accounts suggest that roughly 100 monks and 300 lay brothers resided within its walls, although this is possibly an exaggeration. The lands attached to the abbey also expanded considerably, reaching some 100 km of woods, fields and pasturage. Decline set in during the 16th century, tied to the larger troubles of the Low Countries. Spanish tercios, during the campaign of 1544, did considerable damage to the church and cloister, both of which were partially restored in 1587. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the abbey's fortunes continued to diminish. The number of monks and the abbey's wealth dwindled and it was finally abandoned in 1796 in the wake of the French Revolution.
This tour offers hotel pick-up & drop offs. Rates are in US dollars. Child price applies to ages 6 through 11. Student price is for ages 12+ with proof of student status. Children under 6 years of age are free. Please reserve online or call 212-852-4822 for reservations or more information.
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