Mariemont it is at the same time a museum whose collections compete in quality, if not in extent, with those of the most prestigious museums of the world and a sumptuous park, planted rare and secular trees, with the solid masses of rhododendrons and multicoloured azaleas, with the sinuous alleys which reveal with the walker of the landscapes varied in any season, a harbour of calm and of beauty within an area whose recent industrialization should not make forget the pastoral origins.
The park of Mariemont is one of most beautiful of Belgium. Entirely closed walls, it covers a surface of approximately 45 ha, for which it is necessary to add the alley of access, said “drève of Mariemont”, and the contiguous orchards on a depth of 35m on both sides.
It owes its origin in Nicolas Warocqué founder of a famous dynasty of industrialists and one of the principal shareholders of the Mining Company of the Park of Mariemont made up in 1802 for the charcoal exploitation the royal field. In 1829, he bought a portion of the forest of Mariemont to build a castle and arrange a park of a surface of approximately twenty-seven hectares.
The current park essentially preserves the aspect which it had at the beginning of the 20th century. The core was drawn in 1832 by Charles-Henri Petersen on the model of the English gardens of the time, where a subtle alternation of lawns, ponds and solid masses of foliations, traversed sinuous ways, seeks to evoke the natural aspect of the wooded sites. The later enlargings will respect the style of it; most important will be realized by Raoul Warocqué, who will include there in particular the ruins of the castle of Charles of Lorraine and the “fer-à-cheval”.