© OPT / J.P. Remy
The Princely Town
Located at the edge of the Fagne and the Thiérache regions, Chimay is famous for its castle built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Eau Blanche river. Constructed in late Renaissance style, it originally belonged to the De Croÿ family, and was passed on in 1804 to one of the Riquet de Caraman family, a descendant of Pierre-Paul Riquet, who built the Midi Canal, and was also a relative of the legendary Mirabeau. Today, it's the princess herself who offers visitors guided tours and opens the doors of the superb mini Italianate theatre where concerts are still occasionally held.
The Grande Place and the Collegiate Church of St Pierre and St Paul give the town a dignity all of its own.
Nature lovers will enjoy the numerous way-marked walks in the forest and the surrounding countryside. And if you enjoy bird-watching Lake Virelles is at a stone's throw.
But Chimay is chiefly known for the nearby Notre-Dame de Scourmont Abbey where the Cistercian Trappist monks make internationally renowned beer and cheeses.