Château Guy de Wendel

Château Guy de Wendel, then known as Château de Tournebride, was built by Guy de Wendel (1878–1955), son of Robert de Wendel (1847–1903), in 1906.

HISTORY OF THE CHÂTEAU

 

The château has grounds totalling 4.3 ha. It featured fountains, lakes, greenhouses and a vertical garden. Rare trees were planted here.

The interior of the château was noted for its woodwork and marble fireplaces.

The château was until 1978 the home of Ségolène de Wendel, the last representative of a family that had reigned over Hayange for 274 years.

Guy de Wendel

THE WENDEL FAMILY

 

The Wendels are a family of ironmasters whose history is closely linked not only to Lorraine, but also to France’s industrial heritage, and the founder of an international steel group.

Originally from Bruges, Jean-Martin de Wendel (1665–1737) moved to Hayange in 1704. He was followed by eight generations of ironmasters, who were often involved in local and national politics. François (1778–1825) in particular was the local member of parliament and chairman of Moselle Council. His son Charles (1809–1870) was the member of parliament for Moselle under Napoleon III. His son Henri (1844–1906) was a reluctant member of parliament at the Reichstag during the German occupation. Henri’s son François (1874–1949) is the dynasty’s figurehead: ironmaster, senator, councillor, chairman of the ironmaster committee and regent of the Bank of France. He is the father of the Countess of Mitry (1907–1976), whose name has been given to a tennis trophy still played for during Hayange Tennis Club’s annual tournament.

The family lived in Château de Hayange, now partially demolished, not far from the imposing central office. One of Henri’s nephews, Guy de Wendel (1878–1955), senator and chairman of Moselle Council, commissioned a château in 1906, which would be lived in by his niece, Ségolène de Wendel (1908–1981), who played an important role in the Résistance and was an essential source of support for the many locals forced to flee.

The château is now a hotel, restaurant and business centre. "Dame du Fer" refers to another key figure of the Wendel dynasty: Marguerite d’Hausen (1718–1802), wife of Charles de Wendel (1708–1784), Jean-Martin's son, who ran family affairs during the Revolution, was stripped of her wealth during the Reign of Terror and died in poverty in Metz. She is remembered as "Madame d’Hayange", the Iron Lady. In 2004, an exhibition celebrating three centuries of Wendel family history was held first at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris followed by Salle Molitor in Hayange and was attended by several relatives, some of whom have stayed true to their Lorraine roots and still live in our region.