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Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle


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Vianden Castle (Chateau De Vianden) in Luxembourg is a picturesque medieval castle begun in the eleventh century. Completed in the fourteenth century, Vianden Castle became the home of the local counts and countesses.

Interestingly, the site of Vianden Castle has a history dating back to Roman times, when it was the location of a fort or ‘castellum’.

While several aspects of Vianden Castle seen today date back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, this magnificent site was the subject of extensive renovations in the twentieth century.

History of Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle is one of the largest fortified castles west of the river Rhine. It dominates the town of Vianden, being 310 metres in height and 90 metres long, and overlooks the River Our around 100 metres below.

Vianden Castle was built on the site of an ancient Roman castellum, with the basement appearing to have been a Carolingian refuge.

In around 1100, a square keep was built as well as a kitchen, chapel, and residential rooms which indicate that an aristocratic family resided there at the time. During the first half of the 12th century, a new residential tower and prestigious decagonal chapel were added, and the palace itself was extended.

The Counts of Vianden added a new two-storey palace with a grand gallery connecting it to the chapel, which indicates that they sought to rival the House of Luxembourg. The last great change took place in the middle of the 13th century, when the entire castle was adapted into a Gothic style.

Finally, the Nassau Mansion with its Renaissance-style banqueting hall and bedroom was built by Prince Maurice of Orange-Nassau-Vianden in 1621, and replaced a damaged side wing of the 11th century keep.

The castle was effectively abandoned by the Counts of Vianden in the 16th century until a number of political alliances with the House of Nassau meant that the Count of Nassau took an interest in it in 1564.

He left Vianden Castle in 1566 to lead the Dutch revolt against King Philip II of Spain, which meant that Philip II confiscated it and bestowed it to the Earl of Luxembourg.

In 1820, King William I sold the castle to an alderman, who sold off different parts of the castle, and left it to soon become a ruin.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, attempts to reconstruct the castle were interrupted by the Belgian Revolution of 1830, the First World War, and the Second World War. Finally, the castle was restored via an enormous project that lasted until 1990.

Vianden Castle Today

Today, the castle is open to visitors throughout the year from 10am ’til 4pm. Visitors can enjoy a number of exhibits, as well as note the castle’s history via the combination of both ancient and modern architecture.

Getting to Vianden Castle

From the centre of Vianden, the castle is a 15 minute walk via N17. It also takes 2 minutes by car via the same route.


Vianden Castle, also known as Oranienburg, is situated on a large rock in the valley of the Our river, in the town of the same name in Luxembourg.

The first fortification at this site was a Roman castellum, followed by a Carolingian refuge. Vianden Castle was built between the 11th and 14th century by the Hohenstaufen dynasty and seat of the Counts of Vianden until the 15th century. They were very influential in this region and were related to the French Royal Family and the German imperial court.

In 1417 Vianden Castle came into the possession, through inheritance, of the House of Orange-Nassau from which the Dutch Royal Family are the direct descendants. They owned the castle until the French Revolution. The castle was then confiscated but returned to the Dutch King Willem I in 1820. He sold the castle to a businessman Wenceslas Coster, who sold the complete inventory, including all the doors and windows. After this Vianden Castle fell into decay and became a beautiful ruin.

In 1966 restoration works started and in 1977 the Grand Duke of Luxembourg transferred it to State ownership. By then large parts of the castle had been rebuilt after old images. Vianden Castle is now a museum and also used for official State occasions.

This is a nice castle with an important history. And although it is not very original it does give you an idea of how life at a castle must have been. Beware of the summer months when the town and castle can be overrun by tourists.


Vianden Castle & fortifications

Considered by many to symbolise the fortunes of the town, the castle was constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries on the foundations of a Roman fort. Until the 15th century the palace and medieval fortress was home to the Counts of Vianden, who were connected to the royal family in France and the German imperial court.

In Carolingian times it was originally a decagonal tower, which was transformed later into the castle chapel. The Great Palace was erected in the first half of the 13th century, whilst the Juliers quarter dates from the beginning of the 14th century, and the Nassau quarter was built in the early 17th century.

Today it remains one of the largest feudal residences of the Romanesque and Gothic periods in Europe. It was also defended by strong fortifications, gates and towers including the White Tower on the northwest side and the Black Tower on the northeast side.

Visitors entered the castle through five gates, the first of which had a drawbridge. At the fifth gate you arrived at the Little Palace by way of a staircase and a door. The Little Palace has a vaulted hall that is divided into two rooms – the Captain’s Hall and the Armoury. Keystones are decorated with the emblem of Vianden and Nassau, but since it was considered a minor possession of the Nassau dynasty, who inherited it in the 15th century from the counts, they did not live in it, but merely administered it through bailiffs.

Upstairs the Byzantine hall has beautiful trefoil windows, whilst the Great Palace to the right, is the largest part of the castle, and contains the 30m-long Knights Hall. The chapel has a double oratory, consisting of two separate floors, with the higher level for the nobles. The count sat even higher up in a small balcony. The upper chapel is built in Rhenish style and allows for much light, whilst the lower chapel is in Romanesque style.

Under French occupation, the county of Vianden was abolished in 1794 and 42 villages were surrendered to Prussia at the Vienna Congress of 1815.

The rest of the county was returned to William I of Orange-Nassau who in 1820 sold the castle for 3,200 florins to a Vianden merchant, Wenceslas Coster, who promptly dismantled it and sold it piece by piece from the tiles, panelling and ironwork to the masonry, doors and windows. He moved the entrance staircase, panelling and some furniture to his own house in the town. Following angry protests from the townsfolk, William I re-acquired the castle for 1,100 florins and began reconstruction, starting with the chapel in 1851.

Today the castle is owned by the state and you can visit its exhibitions of ancient wepaons, armoury, furniture, photographs and portraits from 10.00 to 16.00 in January and February, 10.00 to 17.00 in March and October and from 10.00-18.00 April to September. You can find more information here.

The ramparts and fortress wall are now a cultural trail with several information panels. The fortress wall originally had two gates, a watch tower and several shell towers (open to the gorge) which were typical for 13th century fortifications.

Income from a wine tax introduced in 1453 was used to maintain the walls until 1787, when the first towers were sold. You can walk the ancient walls that once would have passed the Count's hospital and local monastery. The watchtower is all that remains of the former hospital, together with an old riverside passageway that was unearthed by archaeological excavations.


Vianden Castle

The rocky outcrop above the modern town of Vianden was first fortified in late antiquity. Excavations at the foot of the castle chapel in 1994 led to the discovery that parts of the crumbling masonry of the Late Antique tower must have existed in Merovingian times and that this square building, the only surviving structure from the period known as Late Antiquity, was incorporated into the first medieval castle.

The first fortification was built at the beginning of Late Antiquity on the castle hill at an ancient crossroads, where a branch of the great Roman road Reims-Cologne through the Ardennes and the valley of Our led to the valley of the Sauer and through Echternach to Bitburg and Trier, at that time a thriving metropolis.

After the Vianden fort was abandoned around 430/440 AD, the Roman Tower seems to have been sufficiently usable to remain a decisive element in the subsequent periods of castle building up to the High Middle Ages.

The first medieval fortification was erected on the rocky spur overlooking Vianden around the year 1000. The main part of this fortification consisted of an oval ring wall. This defensive wall, meticulously reinforced with small slabs of slate, was exactly one meter wide. As with the ancient wall, this special construction technique allowed archaeologists to retrace it virtually its entire length. The old late antique moat also remained in use during this period. The entire inner surface of the fortification was leveled by filling the lower defensive wall with stones and earth. This complex also included a hall, used for administrative purposes, and a chapel, which was installed in the remains of the late antique tower.

Vianden Castle was extensively rebuilt around 1170. The remains of the wooden scaffolding found in the new residential tower made it possible to determine the date of construction using the three-ring dating technique.

Important architectural contributions were made, in Gothic style, between the 13th and 14th centuries by the Counts of Vianden. In 1417 the castle became a possession of the Orange-Nassau family who made changes in the Renaissance style. The castle was long in the possession of the grand-ducal family until it became state property in 1977. After this date, it was restored and shines in its former glory. Today, Vianden Castle is one of the most important architectural monuments in Europe being one of the largest and most beautiful feudal residences of the Romanesque and Gothic periods. In the entrance area there is a modern interactive visitor center.


Vianden Castle - History

By TERRY BOYD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 6, 2004

Vianden castle in Luxembourg has its own Lord Voldemort: A man so reviled, locals dare not speak his name.

After 184 years, they still haven&rsquot forgotten his treachery.

Unlike most European castles, Vianden was not laid low by pillaging armies, earthquakes or fires. It was ruined by greed.

In 1820, Guillaume I of the Netherlands, needing cash to fight the Spanish, auctioned off Vianden castle. The winning bidder made a fortune selling its component parts. He even sold the roof, said Mike Hut, a guide and historian who grew up playing in the castle. Exposed to the elements, what had been the grandest castle in Luxembourg quickly disintegrated into a ruin.

Neither Hut nor castle director Gaby Frantzen will reveal the man&rsquos name. &ldquoWe don&rsquot mention him,&rdquo Hut said. &ldquoHe meant nothing to our history.&rdquo

But this story has a happy ending. Vianden castle is probably the most-visited destination in the tiny, scenic and wealthy grand duchy squeezed between France, Germany and the Netherlands.

From 1978 to 1992, a private organization, Les Amis du Chateau de Vianden, oversaw a complete restoration of the castle. Now, as you round the final turn on the road into Vianden from the west, voilà &mdash there&rsquos one of the great castles of Europe, lording above the town like Zeus on Olympus.

&ldquoYou see the people coming into town, and when they look up and see the castle, they forget they&rsquore driving,&rdquo Hut says. &ldquoThey&rsquore looking up, saying, &lsquoLook at that!&rsquo One wonders why there aren&rsquot more accidents.&rdquo

Built high on a strategic promontory above a deep valley on the Our River, the castle seems to hover over medieval Vianden. The building and its setting are so dramatic that they&rsquore used as a movie set: The new Patrick Swayze movie, &ldquoGeorge and the Dragon&rdquo was filmed here, as were scenes in &ldquoThe Three Musketeers,&rdquo Hut said.

Unlike many castles, Vianden&rsquos interior lives up to the exterior grandeur. Displays help amateur historians understand how Vianden evolved from a crude fifth century Rome frontier garrison on a minor trade road to the House of Vianden.

The House of Vianden&rsquos power reached its zenith with Henri I of Vianden, called the Sun Count, whose influence in the mid-12th century extended well beyond Luxembourg and into modern- day France, Germany and Belgium. He was connected to Europe&rsquos most powerful courts through his marriage.

The majority of the castle&rsquos historic displays are in Charles Arendt Hall, including scale models of the castle at various periods, as well as photos from the mammoth ongoing restoration/archaeology project.

Because this is a major part of Luxembourgian history, the Duchy&rsquos royal family celebrates family milestones here. Luxembourg&rsquos banks and corporations lease the 3,000-square-foot Albens Hall for special events.

But they aren&rsquot the only ones who make use of the castle. The sentiments that keep people like Hut from naming the man who sold Vianden castle for salvage cut both ways.

Only one Vianden family has donated the furnishings sold from the castle, Hut said. Looking down at the town from the castle, Hut mused, &ldquoIt is said that even doorways and staircases in some houses are made of stones from the castle.&rdquo Some local families, he said, must still be living with the House of Vianden&rsquos priceless antiques.

&ldquoBut no one ever says a word.&rdquo

Directions: From southern and central Germany, take Autobahn 6 to Autobahn 1. Follow the Trier exit, which is A-602, with the Moselle River on the right. About three miles after the exit, follow signs for A-64 to Luxembourg/Bitburg and on to Luxembourg. Once across the border, take Exit 13, marked Grevenmacher/Potaschberg, and follow Route 14 to Larochette and Diekirch. In Diekirch, there are signs to Vianden on National Road 17.

From bases near Frankfurt, take Autobahns 3 or 61 to 48, then south to Exit 125 (Wittlich). Follow signs to Bitburg on Route 42, and on to Luxembourg, which goes directly into Vianden.

Times: This is not an &ldquooff-the-beaten- path&rdquo destination. About 180,000 people visit Vianden castle each year, peaking at 3,000 daily during the town&rsquos Middle Ages festival, Aug. 7-15 this year. Opening hours are: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April through Sept. 30 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in October 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 1 through Feb. 28 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in March.

Cost: The entrance fee for adults is 4.50 euros seniors older than 65, 3.50 euros students, 13-25, 3.50 euros children 6-12, 1.50 euros. Group prices and guided tours are available.

Food: Vianden is a major tourism center, offering a wide range of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and patisseries. There are also numerous picnic areas in town and the surrounding region.

Info: For group prices, guided tours and upcoming events, see the Vianden Web site: www.castle-vianden.lu

One of the grandest castles in Europe by the 15th century, the original 5th century Roman garrison consisted of a barracks, defensive tower and a wood rampart.
TERRY BOYD / S&S


Vianden Castle - History

One of the most unique structures in McHenry County is Castle Vianden, located in Fox River Grove. There was a time when this beautiful home was a showplace and honeymoon retreat, easily visible from Route 14. Today it is a private home almost totally obscured by trees.


Theodore Bettendorff was born in 1899 in the village of Vianden, Luxembourg. On the hill overlooking the village was a castle, unoccupied for centuries and in ruins. As children, Bettendorff and his friends roamed the ruins of Vianden Castle.

Bettendorff came to America in 1920 and settled in Fox River Grove. He purchased a lot in 1926 and built a small three-room frame house on a hill overlooking the town. In 1931, at the height of the Depression, he was unable to find work. He decided to keep busy by working on his house.

The first step was to dig a foundation. At this point, he discovered the rich stone bed on which his house was built. He dug up the stones and began to construct a stone facing for the outside walls of his house. The finished exterior resembled a castle, which led him to start building a small replica of the castle he remembered from his childhood. His home became known as Castle Vianden.

Bettendorff obtained some old postcards to guide him. Day by day, stone by stone, the castle grew. First came turrets at each corner. One contained a shower, one a restroom, one a clothes closet, and one a circular staircase leading down to the basement and up to the attic.

The real Vianden Castle was transferred to State ownership in 1977 and has since been restored.


Vianden

This extremely picturesque location is set on both banks of the Our, amid magnificent natural scenery. The fine feudal manor dates back to the 11th century. Seat of the Counts of Vianden and handed down to the dynasty of Orange-Nassau, the Vianden Castle belongs now to the State. The remarkable medieval building is mostly restored and is a real architectural jewel, unrivalled in the Ardennes and the Eifel. The remains of a former outer wall with guard towers encircles the town.

The parish church with its two naves (Trinitarian church), built in 1248 in Gothic style (recently renovated), is one of the most significant religious buildings in the country. The former Trinitarian cloister, dating from around 1250, houses a lapidary museum. The Museum of popular Art, in a former mansion, captures the exact image of 18th and 19th century interiors. The house where Victor Hugo lived during his exile in 1871 now houses a collection of documents, writings and drawings of his various visits to Vianden and the country.

A large network of hiking paths, perfectly maintained and signposted, offers access to the unspoilt nature of the Our valley. A chairlift climbs to a height of 450 metres and gives a good opportunity for an excursion with splendid panoramic views. Close to Vianden, the Our dam and the hydro-electric power station are worth a visit.

Tourism board Vianden

1A, rue du Vieux Marché
L-9419 Vianden
T +352 83 42 57 | F +352 84 90 81
www.visit-vianden.lu | [email protected]

Opening hours

From Monday to Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Saturdays and sundays: 10 AM - 4 PM.


Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle is one of the largest fortified castles west of the Rhine. Set on a rocky promontory, the castle stands at a height of 310 metres, dominating the town of Vianden and overlooking the River Our about a hundred metres below. The castle and its dependent buildings have a total length of 90 metres.

The castle was built on the site of an ancient Roman castellum in the 10th century. The basement appears to have been a Carolingian refuge. Historically, the first Count of Vianden was mentioned in 1090. The castle continued to be the seat of the Vianden's influential counts until the beginning of the 15th century.

Around 1100, a square keep was built as well as a kitchen, a chapel and residential rooms indicating that an aristocratic family lived there at the time. During the first half of the 12th century, a new residential tower and a prestigious decagonal chapel were added while the palace itself was extended. At the beginning of the 13th century, a new two-storey palace measuring 10 by 13 metres was built with a sumptuous gallery connecting it to the chapel. These additions show how the Counts of Vianden sought to rival the House of Luxembourg. The last great change took place in the middle of the 13th century when the entire castle was adapted to reflect the Gothic style. Finally, in 1621 the Nassau Mansion with its banqueting hall and bedroom was built by Prince Maurice of Orange-Nassau-Vianden in the Renaissance style replacing a damaged side wing of the 11th century keep.

During the 16th century, the castle was more or less abandoned by the Counts of Vianden who had gained the additional title of the House of Nassau-Orange after Elisabeth, the granddaughter of Henry II of Vianden had willed the County of Vianden together with its castle to her cousin, Count Engelbert of Nassau. This initiated the long association between Vianden and the House of Nassau. In 1564, William the Silent, Prince of Orange, Count of Nassau and of Vianden, took an initial interest in Vianden where he built the first blast furnace in Luxembourg but left in 1566 to lead the Dutch revolt again the King Philip II of Spain. As a result, Philip confiscated the castle and conferred it on Peter Ernst von Mansfeld, the governor of Luxembourg.

In 1820, King William I sold the castle to Wenzel Coster, an alderman, for 3,200 florins. Coster started to demolish the building, selling off the tiles from the roof, the wooden panelling, the doors and the windows piece by piece. Soon the castle was a ruin.

Such was the indignation of his subjects at the mistreatment of the castle that in 1827 the king, himself a Count of Vianden, repurchased the ruin for 1,100 florins hoping to begin restoration work. Unfortunately, his time was taken up with the Belgian Revolution of 1830 and it was not until 1851 that Prince Henry of the Netherlands reconstructed the chapel at his own expense, giving it a lower roof. When Adolphe of Nassau-Weilbourg became Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1890, he charged Bobo Ebhardt, a German specialist, with further restoration. Although Ebhardt succeeded in making important progress, his work was interrupted by the First World War.

During the Second World War, in the Battle of Vianden which took place on November 19, 1944, the castle was ably defended against the Waffen-SS by members of the Luxembourgish anti-Nazi resistance, and proved to have some military value even under conditions of modern warfare.

It was not until 1962 that consideration was again given to restoration, resulting in reconstruction of the Armory. Further progress was hampered by questions of the castle's ownership. Only after Grand Duke Jean had ceded the castle to the State in 1977 did work continue. In 1978, attention turned to rebuilding the walls, the gables and the roof. In 1979, the chapel was also given a new roof and restored to reflect its original Gothic appearance had been lost during the fire of 1667 caused by lightning. The white tower was also reinforced and topped with a conical roof. Finally, after the Nassau Mansion was fully restored in 1981–82, efforts were made to refurnish the interior as authentically as possible. This work was completed in 1990.


Castle of Vianden

Vianden Castle was constructed from the 11th to the 14th century on the foundations of a roman fort and a Carolingian refuge. It is one of the largest and most beautiful feudal residences of the romanesque and gothic periods in Europe. Until the beginning of the 15th century it was the seat of the influential counts of Vianden who could boast their close connections to the Royal Family of France and the German imperial court.

In 1820, under the reign of King William I of Holland, the castle was sold piece by piece, and as a result, it fell into a state of ruin. It was a pile of rubble until the family of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg transferred it to State's ownership in 1977. Since restored to its former glory, the castle now ranks as a monument of not only regional, but European importance.

Opening hours :
January & February every day from 10 am to 4 pm
March & October every day from 10 am to 5 pm
April to September every day from 10 am to 6 pm
November & December every day from 10 am to 4 pm.
Closed on 1th January and 25th December!!

Entrance Fee
Adults 10 €
Children (6 - 12 years) 2,50 €
Students (13 -25 years) 5 €
Groups (min 15 people)
* Adults
* Students (13 - 25 years)
* Children (6 - 12 years)

8 €
4€
2€
Luxembourg Card Free entry

The prices are valid the whole year except during the middle age festival.

Guided tours for groups on written request to the following address:
Les Amis du Château ASBL,
B.P. 26,
L-9401 Vianden
Tél. : (00352) 84 92 91 / 83 41 08
e-mail:
www.castle-vianden.lu

Price for a guided tour : 8€ per person + extra charge for the guide of 85 € (max. 40 people)


15 Famous Castles to Visit in Luxembourg

1. Bourglinster Castle

A beautiful medieval castle restored in the second half of the 20th-century, Bourglinster Castle is today one of the best destinations for visitors interested in fine dining and stunning settings.

The castle houses the Michelin-starred restaurant La Distillerie, which is considered one of the best in the country. There are also plenty of activities and events taking place on its grounds, including exhibitions and concerts.

Where: Village of Bourglinster, central Luxembourg, 17 km east of Luxembourg City
When: 11th-century, restructured between the 14th- and the 16th- century
Open for visit: Only by appointment. Check here for more information.

2. Bourscheid Castle

Located on a high rocky cliff in the village of Bourscheid, Bourscheid Castle is a medieval fortress now in ruins.

Archaeological evidence suggests that a site existed on the location as far back as Roman times, and the standing structure attests the complex history of the place.

Visitors can have a look inside the old chapel or explore the panoramic views from one of the four towers.

Where: Village of Bourscheid, north-eastern Luxembourg
When: 15th-century
Open for visit: Yes. Check here for more information.

3. Esch-sur-Sure Castle

A massive historic fortress on a panoramic location on top of a hill, Esch-sur-Sûre was at its origin a fort tower built in the year 927 to protect the town of the same name.

The fortress was gradually expanded over the centuries. In the 13th-century, the design of the castle suffered modifications under the influence of the popular Gothic style.

Now in ruins, the structure is a protected historic treasure, and it’s still an imposing sight. In the evenings, the castle is beautifully lit.

Where: Town of Esch-sur-Sûre, north-western Luxembourg
When: 927
Open for visit: Yes.

4. Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle is widely regarded as one of the best castles in Luxembourg. This stunning place was built in early medieval times as a residence for Count of Vianden.

Today, it is one of the largest fortified castles in the country. Decades of neglect caused the beautiful castle to fall into disrepair, but recent renovation work restored it to its lost glory.

Visitors are enthralled with the original design, featuring complex stonework, spires and turrets, and eye-catching colours. In the summer, the castle hosts its yearly Medieval Festival.

Where: Town of Vianden, northern Luxembourg
When: Between 11th- and 14th- centuries
Open for visit: Yes, check here for more information.

5. Beaufort Castle

Dating from the 11th-century, Beaufort Castle is one of the oldest medieval castles in Europe, which during its long history frequently passed from one owner to another.

After a few centuries of neglect, the castle is now mostly in ruins, but it is still considered part of Luxembourg’s cultural heritage. A modern structure was built on the same grounds in 1649 by Johann Baron von Beck, then governor of Luxembourg.

The new Renaissance castle was a private residence from its construction up until 2012 and is now also available for visits.

Where: Town of Beaufort, eastern Luxembourg
When: 11th- to 14- century
Open for visit: Only group visits booked in advance.

6. Clervaux Castle

Located in the village of the same name, Clervaux Castle was, at its origin, a fortress built in medieval times. Most of the original historic structure was destroyed, however, in World War II, when both the village and the castle were bombed.

After a long restoration process, Clervaux Castle has regained its stunning whitewashed walls and grand circular towers. The castle is now home to a museum of castle models and dioramas and to a large international photography collection that forms a permanent exhibit.

Where: Village of Clervaux, northern Luxembourg
When: 12th-century
Open for visit: Yes, check here for more information.

7. Larochette Castle

Although built as early as the 11th-century, Larochette Castle was severely damaged by a fire centuries later. Even though a part of the castle remained irretrievable, the ruins still convey a rich image of the authentic architecture.

The dungeons, servant quarters, and dining halls were unaffected and can be explored today.

Where: Town of Larochette, central Luxembourg
When: 11th-century
Open for visit: Yes, check here for more information.

8. Mersch Castle

The original Mersch Castle was built by Theodoric, a noble who served as a knight at the court of Luxembourg. After being burnt down by Burgundians, the castle remained abandoned for a long period.

In the 16th-century, another important historical figure, Paul von der Veltz, restored the castle according to a new design so it could serve as a private residence. In the 20th-century, the enlarged Renaissance-style castle became the town hall of Mersch.

Where: Town of Mersch, central Luxembourg
When: 13th-century
Open for visit: No.

9. Schoenfels Castle

Located in the Valley of the Seven Castles, Schoenfels is a picturesque medieval structure with a long and intriguing history. Owned by several families of lords, the castle was purchased by Lord of Schoenfels in the early 16th-century.

Although with no real strategic value, the castle’s fortifications were destroyed by the French in the 17th-century. The central tower has been renovated.

Where: Village of Schoenfels, central Luxembourg
When: 12th-century
Open for visit: No. Renovation underway.

10. Urspelt Castle

An original structure existed on the location of the Urspelt Castle since the 16th-to 17th century, but it was largely destroyed throughout time. In 1860, the remains of the original property were expanded by Amand Bouvier who transformed it into the castle that can be seen today.

The owner also enlarged the estate by adding gorgeous parks and elm tree gardens. In the 20th-century, the castle fell again into complete ruin due to World War II. An extensive renovation project began in 2005, and the majestic castle now functions as a hotel and events venue.

Where: Village of Urspelt, Clervaux, northern Luxembourg
When: 16th to 17th-century
Open for visit: Yes, check here for more information.

11. Wiltz Castle

The Wiltz Castle was the magnificent residence of one of the most powerful noble families in Luxembourg, the lords of Wiltz, whose last descendant died in the 19th-century.

Set amid the green rolling hills of Ardennes, this white castle is one of the most impressive sights in the country.

This castle is an eclectic place, home to both the Tannery Museum and the National Beer Museum, with several rooms dedicated to exhibitions of historic war materials about the Battle of Ardennes. The castle also hosts the Wiltz open-air music and drama festival.

Where: Wiltz, northern Luxembourg
When: 1573
Open for visit: Yes, check here for more information.

12. Ansembourg Castle

Home to the Count of Ansembourg, this medieval castle is believed to have been built as early as the 12th-century, although earlier structures may have existed as well.

Besides this medieval Ansembourg Castle, another newer construction known as the New Castle of Ansembourg was built in the same village.

One of the most impressive features of the old Ansembourg Castle was its huge library of over 6000 books, which now belongs to the Government of Luxembourg.

The charming gardens are the only part of the two castles available to the public as they are both private property.

Where: Village of Ansembourg, central Luxembourg
When: 1135
Open for visit: No, except the gardens. Check here for more information.

13. Brandenbourg Castle

Located in a picturesque setting in the valley of the River Blees, Brandenbourg Castle has a millennium-long history and served as a residence for the dynasty of Brandenbourg.

In the 13th-century, the lineage of the Brandenbourg family died out, and the castle was passed down from a noble family to another.

Throughout the centuries, the original construction was widely expanded to include a chapel, new towers, cellars, and heavier walls. In the 19th-century however, it was abandoned. Recent restorations have brought back the castle’s beauty.

Where: Village of Brandenbourg, north-eastern Luxembourg
When: 10th-century
Open for visit: Yes.

14. Pettingen Castle

One of the best-preserved fortified medieval castles in Luxembourg, Pettingen Castle dates back to the 10th-century.

Although originally known as the Pittigero Mazini, its name was changed to Pettingen a few centuries later, when it entered the possession of the Lords of Pettingen, a highly influential family in Luxembourg.

The castle was abandoned after the Middle Ages. Only two round towers have survived through time.

Where: Village of Pettingen, central Luxembourg
When: 10th-century
Open for visit: Yes, open 24 hours.

15. The Grand Ducal Palace

The official residence of the head of the state, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the Grand Ducal Palace is one of the most magnificent constructions in the country, set right in the heart of the country’s capital.

The history of this important building begins in the 16th-century when it was chosen as the city hall of Luxembourg. In 1817, it became the headquarters of the Government. The architecture features original Flemish Renaissance elements along with modern additions to the interiors.

Where: Luxembourg City
When: 16th-century
Open for visit: Yes, check here for more information.

If you love old European architecture and romantic settings, you may be wondering how Luxembourg castles compare to the more famous French chateaux or German castles.

The answer is that the castles in Luxembourg are not only stunning, but they also have a long, captivating history. Exploring this tiny country could only be a highly rewarding experience.


Watch the video: Vianden Castle, Burg Eltz Castle - Luxemburg (October 2022).

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