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“Genuine medieval castle, with a birds of prey show - literally epic visit”

Chateau de Bouillon
Ranked #1 of 11 things to do in Bouillon
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: One of the most impressive remains of feudalism in Europe and the oldest feudal vestige in Belgium. Its origins go back to the 8th century. It is a key account for the medieval architecture and is famous for the 1st crusade, lead by Godfrey of Bouillon. The Castle was used for military purposes until 1830. From the top of the main tower, you can admire a wonderful view on the Semois river and its meanders. Included in the visit : falconry show and permanent didactic exhibition. Also included : permanent exhibition "Scriptura", the history of writing from the Middel Ages until the XXst century.
Reviewed 7 April 2014

This is a full-sized, perfectly maintained, medieval castle, not mere ruins. And we're talking epic knight battle castle, not Cinderella's. Great visit for adventurers.

We opted for the guide map, but there are also an audio guide and guided tour options.

There is a suggested path that takes you through the whole castle, clearly marked with numbers on the map and along the way, with their corresponding description on the guide book.

What we enjoyed the most along the tour:
- the view from the top: the castle is atop a small mountain
- the arrowslits: seeing through them, you get the feeling of being a knight!
- the tunnels dug into the rock itself, that even require you to crouch sometimes
- the long subterranean
- the torture chamber
- the oubliettes and dungeon
- and, most notably, the birds of prey show!:

Show involving different sorts of birds of prey and highlighting their characteristics: chouette (white), hibou (ominous), aigle (big), vautour (scary), buses, faucon (fast - involves a cool demonstration using a sling). One of the birds in particular, is very impression: they call it Spartacus, and I'll leave it at that... The birds fly really low and close to the public head's. The falconers are very funny, engaging and seem to genuinely care about the animals. We greatly enjoyed the show!

Infos:

- free car park in front entrance: 49.794428, 5.067040
- castle's entrance fee: adult 6.50 euros
- guide map (recommended): 1.50 euros
- the birds show (already included in the entry fee) is organised I believe 3 times a day
- duration: 2-3 hours

Nearby:

- the castle is located in the small city of Bouillon itself and overhangs the Semois river
- shops, restaurants and bars
- Semois river
- forest: Bois de Bichelour

Strolls

The Semois border and Bois de Bichelour makes for nice strolls:
- after leaving the castle, we parked here: 49.797334, 5.068609
- we walked along the Semois to the eastern bridge to cross it
- once on the opposite side, we walked north, again along the Semois
- we followed its curve through a dirt path, until we reached the west bridge
- we followed the Boulevard Vauban back to our car
- estimated stroll duration: a little over an hour

Tips & Tricks

- Some months during the year, night visits are organised. Having seen the castle during the day, I can easily imagine how cool it would be during the night! But no bird show though...

5  Thank Baalinooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"audio guide"
in 32 reviews
"birds of prey"
in 26 reviews
"medieval castle"
in 21 reviews
"bird show"
in 17 reviews
"semois river"
in 13 reviews
"falconry display"
in 8 reviews
"great castle"
in 7 reviews
"car park"
in 6 reviews
"nooks and crannies"
in 6 reviews
"stunning views"
in 5 reviews
"main courtyard"
in 4 reviews
"picturesque town"
in 4 reviews
"own pace"
in 4 reviews
"english translation"
in 4 reviews
"rainy day"
in 5 reviews
"medieval times"
in 3 reviews
"most places"
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171 - 175 of 943 reviews

Reviewed 9 March 2014

Superb stay at this chateau. Lots to see in this large chateau, including magnificient views over the landscape and the birds of prey show. Our kids (5+2) loved climbing up and going down all these stairs, dark sideways etc.

Thank Axel V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

Not much to say other than absolutely brilliant museum. Make sure you buy the mini guide for €1.50 or whatever, which gives you a lot of information. Beats the castle in Vianden, Luxembourg (an hour away) any day. A must to visit if within an hour by car.

1  Thank Smaskifa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2013

The visit of the castle should include the show of birds of prey. It is excellent.
Do not miss it.
Denyse Lemaire

Thank Mimi48NewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 December 2013

The visit of the Chateau de Bouillon is very interesting. Visitors should definitely attend the bird of prey show. The shows are commented in four languages and the birds are superb.
I really recommend this visit.

Thank Mimi48NewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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