The domain of Mariemont began in the 16 th century by Mary of Hongary, the regent then of the Nederlanden. The counts Albrecht and Isabella of Lorraine had transformed in 1554 the destroyes house of Mary of Hongary into a castle. The ruines of this castle are still to be seen in the parc. (Ref. 0000990).
It came in the posession of the family Warocqué,a dynasty of industrials, in the 19th century. In 1831 they ordered Tilman-François Suys to build a new neoclassistic castle somewhere else in the domain.The last one, Raoul Warocqué, collected an impressive amount of pieces of art, he gave them to the State in 1917, which converted it into a museum from 1921 on.
The neoclassicistic castle burnt down in 1960. The construction of a new building for a museum started in the ruines of the burnt castle in 1962. The architects Roger Bastin and Guy Van Oost succeeded in creating a balance between the straight neoclassissistic part of the ruine , and the soberness of the modern newconstruction that is elevated as a closed beamvolume from the ground with pillars and a transparant pedestal zone. The light comes through a central beamvolume.
The French Community became the owner from 1981 on.
The museum exhibits elements of the classic civilization of the Egyptians, the Greek and the Romans in the building that evoke the Univers of Le Corbusier . There is also eastern art (china, Japan) archeology and porcelan of Doornik, and the own history of the domain. The landly parc is an harmonious mixture of grassbeds,ponds, trees and bushes. Inside the domain you can find several statues and the ruines of the castle. Daarbinnen bevinden zich allerlei standbeelden en de ruïnes van het oude kasteel.
If you wish more information ( up to 24 july 2002 only in French available) surf to de site of the Mariemont museum.