Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Residence: Losange

Queen Mathilde, her 3 sisters and her brother grew up in the rural hamlet of Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, a part of the town Bastogne which is right on the border of the grand duchy of Luxembourg.


The family lived in a castle in the middle of a park of 300 hectares.


In 1529 a castle was built on the spot where the pond is. In the 1940s remnants of the ancient château were found in the pond.

The castle known as "Losange", was built in the early 1700s by Herman de Trappé. Many generations later it was used as a summer residence by count Frédérik "Fritz" van den Steen de Jehay, who was married to baroness Henriette Snoy, one of queen Elisabeth's ladies-in-waiting. During the 1920s and 1930s she had the castle modernized to the look it has today.

Count Fritz died in 1918 when he fell from his horse. His widow kept on using Losange untill she died in 1957. As an intimate of Belgian court, she let the royals enjoy her château in the Ardennes. In 1926 crown prince Léopold stopped by.


In 1928 Léopold made another visit, accompanied by his wife, crown princess Astrid and his sister, princess Marie-José. 


Marie José even used the spot for a private celebration of her engagement to Italian crown prince Umberto in 1929.



During the second World War the castle suffered greatly during the Battle of the Bulge. However countess Snoy had it restaured after the war.


When she died, Losange and its grounds were put up for sale and bought by countess Suzanne van Outryve d'Ydewalle, Mathilde's paternal grandmother. She gave it to one of her sons, 22-year old Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz who'd been studying agronomy and forestry. At first he lived in a dependance and not in the main building.

In 1972 Patrick married the Polish countess Anna Komorowska and together they undertook a thorough restauration of their castle, which had been uninhabited since 1957.

Their 5 children grew up in the castle and on the estate. Anna's parents lived closeby, in the village of Honville.


Patrick became mayor of the hamlet untill it was integrated in the larger commune of Bastogne. He was a judge at the court of commerce of Bastogne and opened a discotheque in 1962 called "Los Angeles", a pun in reference to his home which was at a mere 3 kilometers of the once very popular dancing.


In 2008 Patrick d'Udekem died from the consequences of a brain hemorrhage. Nowadays the castle still belongs to Mathilde's mother. The four children, including Mathilde have started the "Groupement Forestier de Losange", a legal construction that mangages the resources of the estate and its belongings. It also ensures the estate won't get divided in case one of the d'Udekem siblings should die. The heir of the deceased will get a share in the Foundation, instead of actual goods.



Losange can be seen from the road but can't be visited by the public.

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