Château des Comtes de Hamal – Private property
The Counts of Hamal, the lords of the manor between 1567 and 1852, completely restructured the old fortress and farmhouse of medieval origin, reducing the defensive features to their foundations.
To the west, the tower and chateau facade have regular openings, consistent with the facade overlooking the courtyard, which has been completely reorganized in the Classical style. This 'modern' building is flanked by the so-called Attila tower, whose onion dome is a local landmark, whilst its large windows offer new observation posts.
In the second half of the 19th century, work to remove the defensive features continued: the two courtyards were brought together to form a huge terrace opening onto the valley when the outbuildings and ramparts had been levelled. The underlying garden, ring of trees dividing the ramparts and large orchard at the bottom of the valley extend the grounds beyond the château walls.
Although the château isn't open to the public, you can see it from various angles from the village and viewpoints on both sides of the Viroin.
Words: François Delfosse – Photographs: 2 and 4 Mark Rossignol