The Château d'Aubry du Hainaut
Located in the Scarpe Escaut regional nature park three minutes from Valenciennes, this huge 16th century stately home and its grounds have been converted into a peaceful top of the range hotel.
It all began in the 16th century; between 1500 and 1520, the Lord of Aubry-du-Hainaut (Jean de Thiant) replaced the mediaeval castle with a Renaissance style chateau. A number of aristocratic families from the Hainaut area subsequently lived there including that of the Marquis de Saluces de Bernemicourt, and that of Count Van der Burch in the 18th century. Following the Count's death in 1846, the chateau were purchased by an industrialist, Mr Dubois, who restored it with its grounds (the magnificently romantic "English style" park with centuries-old trees) combining the romantic style of the day with Renaissance architecture.
On the street side of the building we find the Flemish facade (Spanish Flemish Renaissance,) produced from brick with small mullion windows, and its tower, similar to those of the Palais Rihour in Lille. On the park side of the building, the chateau features a rather different and more feminine 18th-century style. Rather like an island, the building is surrounded by the moats of the previous mediaeval castle. It also houses many secrets waiting to be discovered as you walk around the chateau. In the chateau’s courtyard, which was previously the village square, we find the pillory, with a lion's head in the centre. It was here, that the lord would punish criminals in public.