1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chimay

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CHIMAY, a town in the extreme south-east of the province of Hainaut, Belgium, dating from the 7th century. Pop. (1904) 3383. It is more commonly spoken of as being in the district entre Sambre et Meuse. Owing to its proximity to the French frontier it has undergone many sieges, the last of which was in 1640, when Turenne gave orders that it should be reduced to such ruin that it could never stand another. The town is chiefly famous for the castle and park that bear its name. Originally a stronghold of the Cröy family, it has passed through the D’Arenbergs to its present owners, the princes of Caraman-Chimay. The castle, which before Turenne’s order to demolish it possessed seven towers, has now only one in ruins, and a modern château was built in the Tudor style in the 18th century. This domain carried with it the right to one of the twelve peerages of Hainaut. Madame Tallien, daughter of Dr Cabarrus, the Lady of Thermidor, married as her second husband the prince de Chimay, and held her little court here down to her death in 1835. There is a memorial to her in the church, which also contains a fine monument of Phillippe de Cröy, chamberlain and comrade in arms of the emperor Charles V. John Froissart the chronicler died and was buried here. There is a statue in his honour on the Grand Place. Chimay is situated on a stream called the White Water, which in its lower course becomes the Viroin and joins the Meuse.