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Chateau Noisy

“Early on a misty morning, as we walked up to Noisy the chateau slowly revealed itself. From one of the high lanterns an owl swooped down with its wings spread wide and flew over the bell tower of the castle. It felt like a scene from Harry Potter.”

Jan Stel, Chateau Noisy-01

Chateau Noisy-01

Jan Stel, Chateau Noisy-02” title=

Chateau Noisy-02

Jan Stel, Chateau Noisy-03” title=

Chateau Noisy-03

Jan Stel, Chateau Noisy-04” title=

Chateau Noisy-04

Jan Stel, Chateau Noisy-05” title=

Chateau Noisy-05

Château Noisy lies hidden in the forests of the Belgian Ardennes. The château was built in 1866 and has served several purposes. During the Ardennes offensive in the Second World War, the château was briefly occupied by German troops. In 1950 a Belgium railway company began using the castle as a holiday home. The "holiday camp" was equipped to house up to 200 children who suffered from poor health. The fresh air, swimming pool and the good food had a positive effect. Life was strict and the children had to wear a uniform. The facility was completely run by female officials. In the 1990s the owners tried to find investors who could transform the château into a hotel, but the plans always failed. Because maintenance costs of the château had risen enormously, it was abandoned in 1991 and has since fallen in ruins.

“Today (2016) the clock in the tower has been removed and the once beautiful stairs have been nearly demolished by trespassers. The upper floor levels are mostly collapsed and very dangerous to enter. The original high-quality wooden floors were taken out and sold for a high price, as were the handmade and richly decorated ornaments. The stunning main hall with its red ceiling has been bombarded by taggers and sadly enough there's also a lot of damaging and destruction. There are still rumors going around of a pending demolition or reconstruction both of which would cost a lot of money. The location is beautiful. The château is situated on top of a hill, surrounded by old trees and wilderness. But be careful not to roam around in the hunting season! Hunters are shooting and there are lots of animal traps in the woods. Unless something is done to stop the decline, in about 10 years the chateau will be completely reclaimed by nature.”