Château de Sohier – Private property
Standing alone in the north of the village, Château de Sohier boasts remarkable tree-lined grounds.
Presumably on very old foundations, the château is organized around an inner courtyard defined by four two-storey wings in limestone rubble masonry. Three towers add height. Two cylindrical towers, with three storeys and conical spires, join a powerful four-storey square tower with a tall octagonal spire. Initially converted into a dungeon in 1616, this imposing tower marks the high point of the château.
Once surrounded by moats, it lost its defensive features following the radical transformations of 1866, giving it the appearance of a recreational château. Other changes were made over the 20th century. To the north, the large farmhouse and outbuildings enclosing the courtyard to the south were demolished to clear space for the grounds in 1926. After the Second World War, the Neogothic decoration was removed from the square tower to leave it as it appears today.
Some of the château's masonry is covered in ivy. Contrasting with the colour of the limestone, the plant curtain eases the transition into the grounds. Richly planted, the grounds have fifteen or so remarkable trees recorded in Belgium's woodland inventory, with three major specimens. Such a concentration of remarkable species in a relatively small area is exceptional.
Words: Mark Rossignol