Let’s drop the religious stuff for a while and enjoy the remarkable Modave Castle – my favorite Belgian castle. Modave Castle is such a hidden pearl that deserves even a second visit so that I could this time have the chance to listen more attentively to the audio-guide and to the historical facts about it instead of only taking photographs.
The history of the castle began in the 13th century as a property of Walther I of Modave. After 1533, the castle began to change hands until 1941, when it was obtained by the Compagnie Intercommunale Bruxelloise des Eaux. Its present appearance dates from the 17th century, when it was reconstructed by the then owner of the castle, Count Jean-Gaspard-Ferdinand of Marchin.
It’s modest outer appearance just deceives.
The grand vestibule.
I bet you have never seen such an impressive ceiling either. It represents the genealogical tree of the House of the Counts of Marchin, coats of arms, and even reliefs of some of the members. Count Jean-Gaspard-Ferdinand himself was a renowned military commander and Knight in the Order of the Garter.
The ceiling is crafted by the Flemish artist Jan-Christian Hansche whose work is also the decoration in the other rooms of the castle.
Salon Bleu et Or.
Salon des Gobelins with tapestries from the 17th century and scenes from the life of Hercules. In the first photograph – Hercules slaying the Lernaean Hydra.
The whole stuccowork in the castle is work by Hansche.
I don’t possess deep knowledge of why the figure of Heracles is so popular in the decoration of castles, manor houses, and villas, but in my opinion, he, as a son of the God and a human mother, called ‘Earth Savior’, and had made exactly 12 labors, is one of the archetypes of Jesus in the Greek Mythology (along with Dionysus, whom I’ve already mentioned).
Now, this is the Salon d’Hercule.
Over the fireplace is depicted “The Marriage of Hercules”. Over the door – “Nessus Raping Deianira”.
After the Salon d’Hercule follows another vestibule with a genealogical tree on the ceiling.
Chambre du Duc de Montmorency with the coats of arms of Jean-Gaspard Ferdinand de Marchin and his wife Marie de Balzac d’Entraigues with the inscription ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’/ ‘May he be shamed who thinks badly of it’ – the motto of the British chivalric Order of the Garter.
Salon Louis XV.