The history of Château Guy de Wendel

The Guy de Wendel castle, also called the Château de Tournebride, was built in 1906 by Guy de Wendel (1878-1955), son of Robert de Wendel (1847-1903). It has a park, totalling 4.3 ha. Fountains, ponds, greenhouses and a hanging garden were to be admired. Trees of rare species were planted here. The interior of the castle was fitted with marble panelling and fireplaces. The castle was inhabited until 1978 by Ségolène de Wendel, the last representative of the family who had worked in Hayange for 300 years.

Histoire du château de Guy Wendel - Ô château Hayange

The de Wendel Family

The de Wendel family is a family of ironmasters whose history is inseparable not only from that of Lorraine, but also from the industrial history of France, creating a steel group of international dimensions.

Originally from Bruges, the Wendels, in the person of Jean-Martin de Wendel (1665-1737), settled in Hayange in 1704. They were succeeded by eight generations of ironmasters, often involved in Lorraine and national politics. François (1778-1825) was in particular a member of parliament and president of the General Council of Moselle. His son, Charles (1809-1870), was a Moselle deputy under Napoleon III. The latter's son, Henri (1844-1906), was a member of the Reichstag under the German occupation. Henri's son, François (1874-1949), was the emblematic figure of this dynasty: forge master, senator, general councillor, president of the Forges Committee, regent of the Bank of France. He was the father of the Countess of Mitry (1907-1976), whose name is attributed to a tennis cup, which is still played every year during the tournament of the Tennis-Club of Hayange.

The family lived in the partially demolished Hayange castle, not far from the imposing central office. A nephew of Henri, Guy de Wendel (1878-1955), senator and president of the Moselle General Council, had a castle built in 1906, which was later inhabited by his niece, Ségolène de Wendel (1908-1981), who played an important role during the Resistance and was an essential support for many people from Lorraine who were condemned to flee.

This castle is now a hotel, restaurant and business centre. The reference to "the Iron Lady" concerns another key figure in the Wendel dynasty: Marguerite d'Hausen (1718-1802), wife of Charles de Wendel (1708-1784), Jean-Martin's son, who ran the family business during the Revolution, was expropriated under the Terror and died in poverty in Metz. She remains in the collective memory as "Madame d'Hayange", the Iron Lady. In 2004, an exhibition celebrating the tercentenary of this family saga was held at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and then at the Salle Molitor in Hayange, in the presence of many members of this family, some of whom have remained faithful to their Lorraine roots and still live in our region.