Château d'Antoing

The Devil And The Castle – Part 2

The castle where La Plus Longue Nuit Du Diable was actually filmed is the Château d’Antoing, also known as the Château des Princes de Ligne. Antoing refers to the town where the castle is located and the Princes de Ligne to the present owner. Although the beginning of the movie suggests that the castle is located in the middle of nowhere, it is situated right in the centre of Antoing, a small town in the south of Belgium.

Since I tend to be a very curious person, I peeped through the gate in order to catch a glimpse of the castle, but to no avail…

Antoing

The castle is private property and you can only visit it with a guide, every Sunday between the months of May and September. There are two visits, one at 3 pm and the other one at 4 pm. You can buy tickets for the tour at the Office of Tourist Information, which is conveniently located next to the castle.

The tour starts near the entrance, at a small monument referring to Charles de Gaulle. Indeed, in the beginning of the 20th century, the great statesman spent one year in the school on the estate of the Château d’Antoing. His father deemed the young man to be immature, but after having spent one year in the college, de Gaulle ironically was considered to be the most promising student.

The Château d’Antoing was already mentioned in the 7th century, but the tour itself follows the history of the castle from the 12th until the 20th century. During that period, three families occupied the castle; they are, in chronological order the Antoing, the Melun and the Princes de Ligne, the last one being one of the seven princely families in Belgium.

The guide talked a lot about the surrounding walls which date from the 12th century and the bulwark, built in the 15th century. By the way, you can see the walls in the beginning of the movie: a young reporter interviews the baron and asks permission to photograph the castle, which is not permitted. She quickly decides to take the risk anyway and dies a gruesome death.

And then… we could finally see the castle itself. To say that we were impressed is the understatement of the century. This is without any doubt one of the most beautiful castles in Belgium.

We walked past the college where a young de Gaulle had spent one year of his life. The building looked a lot bigger than we had expected. For your information, you cannot see this building in the movie.

The next stop was at a small building which resembles a chapel, but which is actually a gravestones museum. I was immediately blown away by the interior. Towards the end of the movie, you can see the priest (one of the seven tourists) and the succubus entering this building.

The gravestones and monuments themselves were in an impeccable state.

Stones talk. The guide pointed out a lot of interesting details; the dog stands for loyalty, whereas the lion is a symbol of courage, decorations on the clothes of the deceased refer to the families they belonged to and the decapitated figures are a witness of the Iconoclastic Fury, during which lots of religious statues were decapitated. And on one of the gravestones, the sculptor left his signature, which is extremely rare.

To be honest, I wouldn’t mind sitting at that table with a nice cold beer. By the way, can you imagine what this place looks like in autumn?

Château d'Antoing Château d'Antoing

In the third and last part, we will take you inside the castle.

8 Comments

  • corneliaweberphotography July 20, 2017 at 5:18 am

    Beautiful post, thank you for sharing your trip.

    Reply
    • Ingrid D. July 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      You’re welcome and there is more coming up 🙂

      Reply
  • Resa July 22, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Fabulous! I see why you need a 2 part post.

    Reply
    • Ingrid D. July 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Part 3 is coming very soon!

      Reply
  • The Guat July 23, 2017 at 10:22 am

    These were some great pics! I really like the last two.

    Reply
    • Ingrid D. July 24, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you! I had fun making them 🙂

      Reply
  • kareninhonolulu July 23, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    The headstone museum was fascinating. I love touring graveyards so this would be wonderful to see. The movie sounded like a Dracula story at first. Great post!

    Reply
  • riainthecity October 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Amazing photography! I love the fact that you have consistently kept blogging! It is so admirable 🙂

    Reply

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