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The Château de Hex was built in the 18th century on a beautiful natural site, by Count Charles-François de Velbrück. Born in 1719 near Düsseldorf in an old Westphalien family, he was elected Prince-Bisschop of Liège in 1772.
Until his death at Hex in the spring of 1794 he reigned on the Principality of Liege as an enlightened humanist where liberty of thought and cultural life came to full bloom. Philosopher and clever politician, friend of mankind and nature, he became the protector of art and literature.
His personality has marked the Principality. Testimonies of this blooming period still exist to-day in schools and literature circles, such as "l'Emulation" and "la Littéraire" which have been founded during his reign.
His love for nature easily lead him to the County of Looz, where his choice felt on the Seigneurie of Hex. This estate had been acquired by Count Charles-François de Velbrück, who built there his hunting pavillion. He choose this hilly country of Hesbaye, covered with fields and woods, hunting grounds and promenades, to realize an "Arcadian" dream. On the top of the hill Hex was built as a hunting pavillion.
It was then surrounded by 12 acres of formal gardens, inspired from the french garden style, amongst which a rose garden, a chinese garden, as well as a vegetable garden.
Once the formal gardens had been laid out, Velbr¸ck had a landscape park made, one of the first on the European continent, and fairly evident inspired by the famous english garden architect 'Capability' Brown.

The gardens, park and woodlands have always been immaculately maintained. A collection of old and botanical roses - the oldest of which date from the original garden lay-out - is of particular interest. This collection is the fruit of the neverending efforts and joy of the late Countess Michel d'Ursel, who built up an exceptional collection in the unique surroundings of her gardens.
The kitchen garden, where a wide variety of fruit and vegetables are grown, includes a vegetable storage-cellar which is still operated using traditional methods.

So the visitors of the gardens can enjoy still to-day this beautiful heritage.


 
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Hex Presentation
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[formal gardens] [park] [roses of hex] [vegetable garden] [useful information]
Photo-courtesy: Jean Pierre Gabriel, Fam. d'Ursel, Frau Elisabeth Comes, Julia Voskuil
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