The Castle of Beloeil stands behind its moats and gardens in Hainaut for the last eight centuries.
This vast stately home of the Princes de Ligne began life as a medieval fortress; over the course of centuries it has been transformed into a country home. Antoine de Ligne began laying out the grounds that surround the castle as early as 1515. One hundred and fifty years later, two wings were build in the front courtyard and were not affected by the fire which devastated the castle in 1900 and was rebuilt in 1906.
In the introduction to his family history (1950), Prince Albert de Ligne writes : “Our family always had strong ties with the Hainaut and served the Lords who ruled this province. Although our ancestors fought under the standards of the Counts of Hainaut, the Kings of France, the Dukes of Burgundy, the Emperors of Austria, the Kings of Spain and the Kings of the Belgians, Hainaut remained their home. The Princes came from Ligne and were and always will be the Princes de LIGNE”.
The family originates from the village of Ligne, which is located 8 kilometers to the north-east of Beloeil. The family home, of which few traces remain, was situated on the banks of the Dendre. The oldest available records, dating from the Eleventh Century and written in Latin, mention the LINIA or LIGNIA family and describe its members as “variant knights”, “men of honour” and “persons of faith and repute”.