Safeguard of the castle
Who are we?
The Franchimont Companions is a non-profit organization comprised of a team of volunteers who dedicate time to the safeguard of the stronghold’s vestiges, left in a state of ruins since 1794. This endeavor started in 1967 with a handful of volunteers, some of whom are still members.
The objectives of the organization are: historical and archeological researches (in collaboration with Liège University), restoration of the ruins (while conforming to the directives from Wallonia Public Service, which is in charge of the patrimony) and touristic exploitation of Franchimont castle (in accordance with Theux municipality, which is the site owner).
This 50 year long journey has been punctuated by several discoveries, initiatives, organizations of events, publications and restoration works of importance led by volunteers.
Thanks to all of that, the castle has remained open to public and has hosted many events. The most well-known among those is the Medieval Fair (Foiremédiévale, in French) which takes placeevery August of every odd-numbered year. Its organization, since 1973, is nevertheless totally separated and independent from the Franchimont Companions’ activities.
50 years already !
In 1967, some Liège people asked Theux municipality the authorization to search the wells of the castle. Some Theux people joined them. The adventure was just getting started.
Clearing works, excavations, cleaning, maintenance, consolidation by shotcreting, celebrations, shows, archeological searches, publications and electrification punctuated this 50 year long adventure in the castle. Prior to year 2000, the Companions were the driving force that put forward the construction of the reception center in the canon tower. We can now say that these 50 years of hard work represent the bulk of the restoration undertaken since 1800, when the castle was declared in state of ruins. Without these interventions, sometimes substantial, the access to the site would no longer be possible for safety reasons.
2017 is marked by this 50thanniversary. A nice result. An outdoor photography exhibition retraces these 50 years: a picture for every 5 years of activity.
The porchway’s stairs
In the high courtyard, two staircases lead to the 1stfloor of the castle’s northern building. A first intervention from the Franchimont Companions took place many years ago.
For several months, we considered restoring the western part, which is in very bad shape. It is now done. One of the staircases has already been used during the Medieval Fair. A few pictures show the progression of the building site.