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Crèvecoeur Castle Travel GuideРусская версия
Ruins of medieval castle of Crèvecoeur (photo by Jean-Pol Grandmont - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)
Ruins of medieval castle of Crèvecoeur.

Introduction

The fortress of Crèvecoeur (literally "heartbreaker") in the village of Bouvignes-sur-Meuse is one of the major feudal castles around Dinant, along with Poilvache, Montaigle, Vêves and Spontin.


History

The first written mention of Bouvignes dates back to the 7th century. The original name, Boviniacum or Bovingen, translates as "property of Bovon". The discovery of a Merovingian cemetery as well as the Germanic origin of the name clearly indicate that Bouvignes started as a Frankish settlement.

The first fortress of Bouvignes was built by Godefroy, Count of Namur, in the 11th century. Henry the Blind of Luxembourg had it surrounded by a wall in 1176, and the church of Saint-Lambert was built soon afterwards. The keep was erected in the early 14th century, when Bouvignes and Dinant experienced their worst confrontation.

In 1554, King Henry II of France laid siege to Bouvignes and its castle. When the three last knights perished protecting the castle, their wives chose to throw themselves from the cliff rather than fall to the enemy. This story earned the castle its tragic name: Crèvecoeur.

Opening Hours & Admission

The ruins are open all year round and entry is free.

How to get there

Crevecoeur is located in Bouvignes, just north of Dinant along the Meuse River. The nearest train station is Dinant on the Brussels-Namur-Dinant line.

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