This weekend I discovered a little-known gem: the gardens of the Chateau de Seneffe in Hainaut, Belgium. Only dating to the Eighteenth Century, the grounds are lovely and the chateau appears to be in good shape. We didn’t go in, my friend and I, but we certainly enjoyed the lovely summer weather, not too hot nor too humid. Summer is the time when smart people like the Belgium weather. At least most of the time.
The grounds are spectacular, with everything from an aviary to modern sculptures to a wide variety of flowers.
It’s a relaxing place to walk, with long and picturesque paths. Pretty views greet the walker from every angle. There’s the couple hundred year old castle as well as anachronistic sculptures by Mauro Staccioli from 2014. It’s a very interesting place.
There’s an aviary with parakeets and other exotic birds, once a status symbol of the rich, and an orangerie, as well as an old ice house; it stored ice for the residents of the estate to use, a luxury only attainable by the most wealthy.
The flowers and trees are lovely and varied. Currants, Rose of Sharon, and the surprisingly fragrant milkweed delight the senses.
Only a half hour from Mons and not a lot more from Brussels, the park is open until eight p.m. for walking, but you have to go earlier if you want to visit the castle or the brasserie. Lots of grass means it’s cooler on the grounds than in the nearby towns, and in air-conditioning deficient Belgium, that’s a welcome benefit.
The English version of the website is not available, but the French language one is here. Take a few hours and take a walk. It will be good for the body and the soul.