History of chateau Le Fy
Chateau Le Fy was built in 1904 - 1905 by Paul de Saintenoy, architect of international fame, for Jean-Edouard-Jules Van Parys, son-in-law of Ernest Solvay. In 1889, the priest of Esneux decided to build a new church, much bigger than the old one, to accommodate the growing population. Mr. Van Parys, who did not want to watch at the church in front of his villa, offered an amount of importance to the priest to replace the church to a lower level in the village. The offer was refused. So Mr. Van Parys decided to build a castle that should dominate the church in many ways.
The castle is a mixture of different styles, Renaissance to the frontage, a medieval tower and a roof in Gothic style with 343 sides and fine turrents. The castle has been surrounded by an English park with twisting paths.
After being occupied by the German army to the death of its owner (1915) the castle became the property of the Consul of Belgium in China.
But already before 1940 it became uninhabitable, the maintenance had become very expensive.
During the war 1940 -1945 the property agian was occupied by the German army, then by the underground and finally by the Americans. From 1951 till 1964 it became a place for homeless people under the responsibily of of Pére Barras, vicar at Esneux. In 1982 the community of Esneux acquired the good back, and restorated the roof but unfortunately in 1985 a fire destroyed the tower and all 343 roofparts.
The monument in danger was registered on the List of the Institute of the Walloon Heritage in 1999, but several efforts to rebuild and renovate the Castle failed.
The Castle ( Chateau S.A. ) soon will open as a museum of african art, and will also rent out appartments and conference rooms.