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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Chateau for Sale.....Cheap!

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chateau for Sale.....Cheap!

Chateau at Attre

There it is again....every time I go to the commissary, I pass it by...and every time, I try to get a good peek through the big wrought iron gate....my little dream chateau....that happens to be for sale.  Why is it that every village and every so often in the middle of nowhere, a big imposing wall hides yet another chateau, straight out of some fairy tale?

Coming from Germany, I know castles...you've got the Rhine and Mosel River castles perched on cliffs, many now tourist attractions...the palaces in some of the older German cities and of course everyone's favorite castle, Neuschwanstein, which Walt Disney used as a model for his castle....but nothing prepares you for driving through a country that looks like it was left in the last century (at least Wallonia, the French speaking part of Belgium looks like this).....bumpy pot-hole filled roads and ditches as deep as your car is high...and then turning a corner and almost driving off the road at the absolute stunning beauty and outright richness of the chateau that just appeared out of nowhere!  I love it!

I can just take a day, driving in the countryside....our SHAPE map of the area BTW, also has each chateau marked, so even if you don't know where they are, you can quickly find them.  Most are still in private hands.  I can think of one near Chievres Air Base, Beloeil, that has been in the same family....many, many centuries ago, since it was first built!  Wow!  Many of these former nobles are also into preservation and sharing history and will open parts of their chateaus to tourists and locals on Sundays and public holidays, such as Chateau Attre, also by Chievres.  This one even has the original furnishings from the 1700s, and I believe it's the only one in Belgium that can say that.

Why are there so many chateaus?  Germany doesn't have all these chateaus or castles....France...yes, to an extent, but not so much as Belgium with the highest concentration of castles per square kilometer....why?  Mostly during the time of Charles V of France, there were tons of nobles and rich counts and dukes of the court and since the massive stone was readily available, imposing castles were built to impress all the neighbors.  Many of these chateaus were built during the 17th and 18th centuries and remember...there was no Belgium or the Netherlands...this area was known as the Low Country with tons of dukes and other nobles who ran their own city states and villages.  In our area of Belgium, I believe you can count almost two chateaus PER VILLAGE...that's some statistic!  Isn't it wonderful that most are still standing?  AND that you can visit at least 400 of the 3,000 chateaus in Belgium, as they are open to the public.  Hey, our church is even having the youth group do a lock-in at a local chateau, and it's not unusual for organizations and units to rent rooms for events...I just went to a wives coffee at a chateau (where else can you say that?)....or you can even stay at them overnight, B&B style.

Even with all this access....I can still dream of my own chateau, so take a look at this one that's nearby....if you can afford 1.2 million Euro....why not?




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1 Comments:

OpenID planetgermany said...

Wow... it looks fabulous! Now, about the 1.2 million.... ho hum...

September 28, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

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