Béatrix de Cusance: the lady of Belvoir and her complicated loves

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Béatrix (P. de Jode, based on Van Dyck, 17th c) - ©Rijksmuseum / Public domain Béatrix (P. de Jode, based on Van Dyck, 17th c) - ©Rijksmuseum / Public domain
Belvoir castle Castle Love story

Some mighty lords

The current castle was raised in the 13th century. In 1395, Belvoir fell to Cusance family: noblemen and soldiers from father to son! First, we had Jean: duke of Burgundy John the Fearless' comrade in arms.

Ferry, then, duke of Burgundy Charles the Bold's chamberlain. In the 17th century, Claude de Cusance married Ernestine de Wuithem: he refit out the old apartments. And here was Claude’s daughter: Béatrix de Cusance.

The lady of Belvoir

She was born in the castle one fine day of 1614. She inherited Belvoir and married the duke of Lorraine: but above all, she was the most beautiful lady of her time, immortalized by Van Dyck!

Even pope Alexander VII said that "her face was worthy of an Empire"! Anyway, Béatrix was 20 years old, when she fell in love with duke of Lorraine Charles IV. And the feeling was mutual!

Yes, but, we had a little problem... our duke was in love, OK. But he was already married! Béatrix's parents didn’t like this situation, so they sent her away from Belvoir. They thought that she will forget this short-lived passion! There, in “exile”, she met lord of Cantecroix, who had a little flirt with her. Béatrix sighed, thought about his duke...

But she decided to married Cantecroix. A flying marriage: Cantecroix died 2 years later! Béatrix was free, again! And duke of Lorraine too, because he finally divorced. In 1637, out two lovebirds joined in marriage in Besançon... two children were born in Belvoir castle! As a memory of this unusual couple, we still can see Lorraine and Bar's coat or arms above a door...

War is coming

In the reign of Louis XIV, wars took place in the area, until the Franche-Comté was annexed by France in 1678, with the treaty of Nimègues. Medieval and useless fortresses were destroyed. Except Belvoir... who fell to the Rohan-Soubise family in the 19th century.

The castle was finally sold in 1843: a local painter, Pierre Jouffroy, owned it in 1956: thanks to this sir, Belvoir was completely restored and refit out. Nowadays, we can visit it...

And also!