The castle of Rixensart

The castle of Rixensart


Rixensart Castle, still inhabited by the Mérode princes, is one of the most beautiful castle in Belgium.


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Rixensart Castle, still inhabited by the Mérode princes, is one of the most beautiful castle in Belgium. Una parte della costruzione attuale fu edificata da Jean Charles de Gavre (1564-1629), Conte di Frésin. The present aspect is due to Philippe-Charles Hippolyte Spinola (1612-1670), Count of Bruay. The Castle remained the property of the Spinola until the death ofCosme Gabriel Hyacinthe Spinola, who died in combat near Douai in 1712. Her mother Albertine Isabelle, who had married Philippe-Charles Hypolyte Spinola’s son,Philippe-Charles Frederic, bequeathed the Castle to her daughter, Marie de Mérode, whose mother, Claire-Eleonore Salm, was her sister.

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The castle of Rixensart

Chateau Mérode
Dréve du Calvaire 1330



Jean Charles de Gavre, Lord of Frézin, Baron d’Inchy, Governor of Quesnoy, Haut-Avoué de Russon, Gentleman of the House of the Duke of Parma, Colonel of Regiment of Walloon Infantry, son of Charles de Gavre-Frézin and Honorine d’Escaltère, Lady of Aiseau, married in 1586 Francoise de Renty, dame de Griboval, Rixensart and Genval, daughter of Oudart de Renty, Lord of Bruay, Baron of Embry, Lord of Curlu, Grouches and Griboval.
Francoise’s sister, Maria de Renty, Baroness of Embry, Lady of Bruay, Curlu, Affringues, Vaudrerem, Grouches and Griboval, married, in her second marriage, Don Gaston Spinola (1546-1614), son of Annibale and Maria Lo Porto, Sicilian noblewoman, Governor of the Province of Limbourg, later Count of Bruay.
From this marriage Bertin-Oudart Spinola (1590-1618), Count of Bruay, Lord of Embry, Curlu, Affringues, Vaudringhem, La Motte d’Andre was born. He married (in 1609) Clara d’Arenberg (1594-1670) daughter of Prince Charles of Arenberg (1550-1616), from which Philippe-Charles Hippolyte Spinola was born(1612-1670).
Philippe-Charles Hippolyte Spinola, Count of Bruay, Baron of Andre, Lord of Caunitz, Embry, Monchel, Curlu, Haffringhess, Vandringhem, Rixensart, Bourgeois, Geneval, married (in 1646) Francoise Conradine de Gavre, probably granddaughter of Jean Charles de Gavre and Francoise de Renty, daughter of the owners of Rixensart Castle. Philippe Charles was Battlefield General of the Army of the King of Spain in 1641, Governor and Captain General of the cities of Lille, and from 1655 of Douai and Orchies. He received the title Knight of the Golden Fleece in 1667 for having distinguished himself in the Siege of Lille against the French of Louis XIV.
From this marriage Philippe-Charles Frederic Spinola was born. He inherited the same titles as his father, was Governor of Namur and married Albertine Isabelle Rhingrave. Cosme Gabriel Hyacinthe Spinola was born from this marriage, whose sudden death at a young age led to the end of the lineage. According to Juan Luis Sarnez Martin, in the biography of Don Gaston Spinola y Lo Porto in Real Academia dell’Historia, in 1717 after a long legal battle, all the titles of this Spinola family passed onto the Arenberg line.

Genealogy source



The funeral monument was commissioned by the sculptor Pierre Denis Plumier and the architect Jean André Anneessens by Albertina Isabella Rhingrave, Countess of Bruay in 1716.