History

Altembrouck is located in the middle of the Voerstreek, an area between Liège, Maastricht and Aachen, which has remained unchanged in terms of landscape for centuries. Even though it seems that time has stood still here, historiography is no less fascinating.

Once upon a time, in the early Middle Ages, there was a small kite (the Luigau) in which the main court was located in The Hague. At that time, feeding was a Carolingian crown domain run (managed) by a count. In this former royal estate, an agreement was concluded in 878 concerning the division of Lorraine between the King of France, Lodewijk de Stamelaar and the King of Germany, Lodewijk de Smalle, the respective sons of Charles de Kale and his brother Lodewijk de Duitser, who had the historic meeting in Meerssen in 870.

From a donation from Count Conrad in 1083 we know that the parish Voeren consisted of the present church villages of The Hague, Noorbeek, Mheer and Banholt, Warsage and Aubel, St. Martenvoeren, S. Pietersvoeren, St. Jean-Sart and Slenaken.

Around 1100 Count Thibald was also the lord of Valkenburg. On the childless death of Thibald in 1106, the burial seat of Voeren was moved to the neighbouring Dalhem. To show how closely this region has ever been woven into each other.

In the middle of this historic area there was a "Broeke Beer Feeding" around 1300. Etymologically, "trousers" means drained swamps that have been recreated in meadows. Indeed, over time, drainage works (such as the construction of ponds) have changed some of the trouser soils into hay meadows and meadows. The oldest known gentleman van Broek (anno 1314) is a certain Jan van Voeren, probably still a distant descendant of the graves of Voeren. In his time Altembrouck was a fief of the Counts of Dalhem.

In 1371 Reinier van de Broekke took part in the famous Battle of Baesweiler.

From 1355 to 1511 the castle is owned by the genus Melcops. Through marriage it came into the possession of the Holset family, who lived there until 1624.

In the 16th century, when "us" pants (or Brook like Voerenaars say) became linked to the family of Hoensbroek, the name evolved into "Aldenbroek", the old pants as opposed to the younger Pants of Hoen. The coat of arms of Altenbroek and the coat of arms of Hoensbroek have in fact common quarters. In 1629 Altembrouck became the property of Jan de Berghe, also Lord of Noorbeek.

In 1714 knight de Winckel, lord of Altenbroek and of the seigniory Noorbeek, is still connected to Hoensbroek through his function as adjutant of Antonius van Hoensbroek.

 The best known owner of Altembrouck is the family de Schiervel. She arrived at the castle in 1790 when the lawyer Pierre Joseph de Schiervel married the daughter of the then owner, the Fassin, Marie Claire . Father the Fassin then leaves Altembrouck and gives castle and farm to his son-in-law. This gave rise to the legend that Carolus Waelbers wrote in his poem: 'Op Waterloo' The young de Schiervel personally took control of the management of the farm and when Napoleon closed his borders with England, he introduced sheep farming to the valley of the Noorbeek. As the chief of the Schiervels on Altembrouck, he was an eminent personality. From 1812 to 1827 he was mayor of The Hague and before 1830 he was a member of the Lower House of the States General of the Netherlands. Later he became a knight in the order of the Belgian Lion. He died in Altembrouck on 25 January 1831 at the age of 76. His son Louis de Schiervel became governor of the new Belgian province of Limburg and made himself useful by, among other things, building a new road between Hasselt and Maastricht. Out of gratitude for the services rendered, Hasselt City Council called the boulevard between Kuringen and Luikerpoort the 'Schiervellaan'. His brother, Henri de Schiervel, became mayor of The Hague, just like his father, and lived on Altembrouck until his death. He first experienced Belgium's independence and then had to accept that today's Dutch Limburg was forcibly handed over to the Netherlands. This was a heavy blow to 's-Gravenvoeren because it was closed off from the villages in the Netherlands, such as Mheer, Noorbeek and Slenaken, by the new Belgian-Dutch border, which ran through the Altembrouck estate, with which it used to form an economic unit (which spanned the entire area between Valkenburg and Dalhem).

Henri's son Jacques Gustave de Schiervel, acquires the title of baron from his uncle Louis, the governor, after his marriage to the daughter of the famous Charles Ghislain Vilain XIIII (Vilain quatorze), member of the National Congress (the first Belgian government), later Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vatican Special Minister.

A daughter from this commitment, Marie-Philipine Ghislaine Josephine married in 1878 to Arthur de Behault, the grandfather of Monsieur Jean and Monsieur André, still known to many old Lecturers. Gustave baron de Schiervel was buried in the family tomb next to the parish church of The Hague at the time of his death in 1898. With his passing came a provisional end to the permanent residence of Altembrouck.

The Behaults were housed in Ghent at castle Gend'Hof in Buggenhout. The son of Arthur de Behault, Adrien, born 7 February 1884, was an officer during the war 1914-1918 and married Annette de la Croix, daughter of the Prime Minister de la Croix (after 1914-1918).

It was Adrien de Behault who, together with his wife and three sons, used Altembrouck as a summer residence. In the event of their death, the estate will be divided. Castle and park go to son Jean, farm and farmland to son André.

In 1994 the castle was sold by their heirs to the previous inhabitants. A good year later, farms and estates were also bought, which eventually led to the reunification of the estate. After 100 years the castle is now bustling with activity again.