Property of the powerful Counts of La Marck, who ruled the Principality of Liège for 86 years, then of the illustrious House of Arenberg, the castle of Seraing-le-Château played an important role in the history of the region. The castle gave its name to the village, so as to distinguish it from the town of Seraing, in the suburbs of Liège.
The village was first mentioned in a charter in 911, then again in 956. The seigneury belonged to the lords of Haneffe (the next village to the north-east) in the 14th century, who built the present medieval fortress around 1302. The La Marck acquire is by marriage the following century.
At the end of the 15th century, the owner of the castle is none else than the redoubtable William of La Marck (=> see history of Liège and Franchimont), son of John, Lord of Arenberg and Sedan. He often sought refuge here during the civil war that opposed him to Prince-Bishop John of Hornes.
The La Marck family continued to play a major role in the history of the Low Countries during the Wars of Religion. Taking the side of the Sea Beggars against the Spanish occupier, the castle was soon besieged (in 1568) by Prince-Bishop John of Groesbeeck, who had been attacked by the troops of William of Orange, leader of the Beggars.
The castle stayed in the possession of La Marck until 1774, when the last Countess of La Marck married the Duke Charles of Arenberg. After the troubled times of the French Revolution, Seraing-le-Château was sold to the Counts of Oultremont (in 1812). The castle burnt in 1869, and was reconstructed to its medieval appearance, with an additional roof. The castle has been abandoned for many decades and has fallen in an advanced state of disrepair (the roof and windows are now gone).
The ruins are not open to the public (for safety reasons), but can be observed from outside.
How to get there
The castle is situated in the village of the same name, a few kilometers from the castles of Fallais, Oultremont and Jehay.
It can only be accessed by car. Seraing-le-Château is 2km north of the E42 motorway between Liège (25km) and Namur (45km). Take exit 5 (toward Verlaine) or 6 (toward Champon-Seraing). If you are coming directly from Huy (15km), the easiest is to take the N64 toward Wanze, get on the E42 toward Liège and take the first exit (number 6) at Villers-le Bouillet.
Once you have reached the junction at the centre of the village, look for the small Rue du Château to the south, which leads to the castle (see location on Google Map.
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