Between 1456 and 1461, the future King Louis XI of France stayed in Genappe, at the Château du Lothier.
The castle no longer exists, but this does not prevent the Genappians from remembering the stay of the Dauphin. Indeed, every two years, the town is plunged back into the atmosphere of the 15th century for a weekend of festivities. Through these medieval festivals, the inhabitants of Genappe go back in time and reconnect with the past of their region in this troubled, heroic and mysterious period… Camps, fights, craftsmen, tournaments, craftsmen’s market, falconry, a whole series of activities punctuate this very special weekend.
A bit of history
From 1456 to 1461, the Château du Lothier housed the dauphin of France, the future King Louis XI, who disagreed with his father, Charles VII. His Dauphine, Charlotte de Savoye, gave birth there to their first child, Joachim, who lived only four months and was buried in the Basilica of Hal.
The return of Louis XI
It was in September 1988, after an absence of 527 years, that the Dauphin de France reinvested in the good city of Genappe. Received by the highest authorities of the city, his procession was led with great pomp and ceremony through the blue and yellow-flagged streets. All the nobility that the venerable Château du Lothier could contain had then participated in the agapes and tournaments organised for the occasion.
The castle of Genappe
The first written mention of the castle of Genappe dates from 1227. It is very likely that it was created at the same time as the eponymous town, whose founding charter dates from 1211.
It was a ducal castle and not a seigneurial one. It belonged to the sovereign, who assigned a châtelain, representative of the central power, to it. The castle, surrounded by its fishpond, was truly a jewel of Brabant, both in size and upkeep, which is why the Duke of Burgundy offered the Dauphin of France, the future King Louis XI, to reside there during his exile.
On 13 January 1671, the Count of Monterey, Governor General of the Netherlands, took the decision to demolish the castle and all other posts within a radius of 40 kilometres in order to deprive any possible aggressors of support as part of the organisation of the defence of Brussels.