Medieval castles in Luxembourg

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 b ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Vianden, Luxembourg

Beaufort Castle

Beaufort Castle consists of the ruins of the medieval fortress and an adjacent Renaissance château. It probably originates from the 11th century when a small square-shaped fortress was built on a large rock protected by a moat and a second wall above the valley. A reference from 1192 indicates that Wauthtier de Wiltz et Beaufort was its first lord. During the first half of the 12th century, a keep was added and the gate ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Beaufort, Luxembourg

Mersch Castle

Mersch Castle is one of the castles belonging to the so-called Valley of the Seven Castles. The castle was built in the 13th century by Theodoric, a knight in the service of Countess Ermesinde of Luxembourg. It was captured and burnt down by the Burgundians. In 1574, Paul von der Veltz transformed the building into a comfortable castle in the Renaissance style. The keep had large windows and the property was surrounded by ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Mersch, Luxembourg

Clervaux Castle

Clervaux Castle dates back to the 12th century. The oldest parts of the castle were built by Gerard, Count of Sponheim, a brother of the Count of Vianden. The large palace and the rounded towers are probably from around 1400 when the prosperous Lords of Brandenbourg lived there. In 1634, Claude of Lannoy built the reception halls, including the large Knights' Hall in the Spanish style of Flanders. In 1660, stables, store ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Clervaux, Luxembourg

Wiltz Castle

In the 13th century, the Lords of Wiltz built a fortified castle on a rocky promontory, initiating the development of the upper town of Wiltz. In 1388, the French attacked the town and burnt the castle down but it was soon repaired. In 1453, Wiltz was again attacked, this time by the troops of Philip of Burgundy. The round Witches" Tower to the east of the gardens is the oldest part of today"s castle. Under Coun ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Wiltz, Luxembourg

Schengen Castle

Schengen Castle dates from 1390 but it was was torn down by the industrialist Jean-Nicolas Collart in 1812. He built a residential manor house in its place and now Schengen Castle is a hotel and conference centre. All that remained of the medieval building was its round central tower. The castle"s most famous visitor was certainly Victor Hugo who visited the Collarts in 1871 and made a sketch of the old tower.
Founded: 1812 | Location: Schengen, Luxembourg

Brandenbourg Castle Ruins

Brandenbourg Castle history goes back to the 9th and 10th centuries when there was a wooden fort on the site. The 13th century keep, now 11.9 metres high, used to have four floors, only three of which remain. In the 14th century a chapel was added to the castle. And during the 15th and 16th centuries the castle was expanded and a bailey, two towers, vaulted cellars and curtain walls were added. In 1668, the French attacke ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Brandenbourg, Luxembourg

Bourscheid Castle

Bourscheid Castle stands on a site with archeological evidence of structures dating back to Roman times. Standing majestically some 150 metres above the River Sûre, it is enclosed by a circular wall with 11 watchtowers. Although first mentioned in records from 1095, the castle appears to have been built around the year 1000 on earlier foundations. It was extended on several occasions: the outer wall dates from 1350, the ...
Founded: c. 1000 AD | Location: Bourscheid, Luxembourg

Sanem Castle

Sanem Castle has a history dating back to the 13th century. Today"s building was completed in 1557 after the medieval castle had been partly destroyed. The castle still maintains much of its original character. There are historic references mentioning a castle in Sanem during the 13th century when it was closely related to the nearby Soleuvre Castle. Originally a typical medieval fortified castle complete with a moa ...
Founded: 1557 | Location: Sanem, Luxembourg

Bourglinster Castle

Bourglinster castle is first mentioned in 1098 as belonging to St Symeon of Trier. At the time it had a residential keep, a chapel and a wall. During the second half of the 14th century, the chapel was extended and a tower was added on the northern side. The lower castle with a moat and two defensive towers was built in the 15th century. Both castles were partly destroyed during the 16th century wars (1542–1544) but wer ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Bourglinster, Luxembourg

Hollenfels Castle

Hollenfels Castle, with a history dating back to the 11th century, is one of the castles located close to the River Eisch in the so-called Valley of the Seven Castles in central Luxembourg. Located at the southern end of the village of Hollenfels, the castle stands high above the River Eisch. A path with steep steps and wooden bridges leads to the foot of the castle where hollows in the rock can be seen, explaining the or ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Hollenfels, Luxembourg

Schoenfels Castle

The hamlet of Schoenfels is first mentioned by the name of Scindalasheim in a deed of 846 as a gift by Bishop Hetto of Trier to Abbot Marcuardus of Prüm. By 1150 a document from the Abbey of Echternach refers to it as Schonefels. There follow frequent name changes over the next centuries: Schindelzein (1156), Schindelce (13th century), Scindelce (1239), Schindeltz (1434), Schindefeltz (1498), Schindviltz (1503), Sch ...
Founded: 1292 | Location: Schoenfels, Luxembourg

Septfontaines Castle

Septfontaines Castle is one of the castles belonging to the Valley of the Seven Castles. It is not clear when the first castle was built in Septfontaines. In 1192, there is a reference to someone by the name of Tider who was Lord of Septfontaines. In 1233, Jean de Septfontaines placed the property under the protection of Countess Ermesinde of Luxembourg. At the beginning of the 14th century, Thomas de Septfontaines, a fri ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Septfontaines, Luxembourg

Dudelange Castle Ruins

While the site of the Dudelange castle ruins bears traces of Gallo-Roman structures, the first evidence of a castle in the area is in Dudelange itself where a castle belonging to the Lords of Gymnich was destroyed around 1400 by Robert de Bar. At the beginning of the 15th century, work began on building a fortified castle which was completed early in the 16th century with Gothic and Renaissance influences. The finely cut ...
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Dudelange, Luxembourg

Stolzembourg Castle

The current Stolzembourg castle was built on the ruins of the medieval castle in 1898 in the style of a Scottish country house. In the 12th century, a tower was built to keep watch over the road along the River Our. The first mention of a fortress was in 1315. In 1454, the governor Antoine de Croÿ pulled down the castle. After it had been rebuilt, it was finally destroyed by the French troops of Louis XIV in 1679. I ...
Founded: 1898 | Location: Stolzembourg, Luxembourg

Larochette Castle Ruins

Larochette Castle stands high above the town of Larochette. Dating from the 11th century, the castle was destroyed by fire at the end of the 16th century. The earliest references to the castle are from the end of the 11th century and during the 12th century when the lords of Larochette were flag bearers for the counts of Luxembourg. The family proliferated leading to the construction of the five stately houses which are s ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Larochette, Luxembourg

Schuttbourg Castle

It is unknown when Schuttbourg Castle was built, although some sources say it dates back to the 12th century. It was first mentioned in the 15th century. It was the possession of the Lords of Fischbach who later sold it to the Lords of Clerf. In the beginning of the 20th century it was a ruin. In 1936 it became private property and was rebuilt into a youth hostel, which opened in 1939. In the Second World War the castle ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Wiltz, Luxembourg

Esch-sur-Sûre Castle Ruins

Esch-sur-Sûre Castle was founded around 927 AD, when Meginaud or Maingaud and his wife Hiletrude acquired the site of Esch-sur-Sûre. He built a Romanesque tower eight metres square as well as farm buildings. The castle was considerably enlarged in the Gothic style by the two last Counts of Esch during the 13th century. With the introduction of gunpowder in the 15th century, additional defences were required. ...
Founded: 927 AD | Location: Esch-sur-Sûre, Luxembourg

Ansembourg Old Castle

Ansembourg Old Castle is one of the castles belonging to the Valley of the Seven Castles. Located high above the little village of Ansembourg, the medieval castle is the private residence of the current Count and Countess of Ansembourg. The property is first mentioned in 1135 when the lord of the castle was Hubert d'Ansembourg. The fortifications were probably built in the middle of the 12th century. At the beginning of ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ansembourg, Luxembourg

Useldange Castle Ruins

Useldange Castle stands on a small hill in the centre of the village overlooking the River Attert. The ruins present a reasonable picture of the medieval castle, especially the outer wall and one of the round towers. A bridge over the former moat, 10 metres wide, provides access to the castle. The keep, 25 metres tall, stands at the centre of the site. The castle appears to date from the 12th century when the lordship of ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Useldange, Luxembourg

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Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora (Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) is a 17th-century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon. It is one of the most important monasteries and mannerist buildings in the country. The monastery also contains the royal pantheon of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

The original Monastery of São Vicente de Fora was founded around 1147 by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, for the Augustinian Order. The Monastery, built in Romanesque style outside the city walls, was one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Portugal. It is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics were brought from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century.

The present buildings are the result of a reconstruction ordered by King Philip II of Spain, who had become King of Portugal (as Philip I) after a succession crisis in 1580. The church of the monastery was built between 1582 and 1629, while other monastery buildings were finished only in the 18th century. The author of the design of the church is thought to be the Italian Jesuit Filippo Terzi and/or the Spaniard Juan de Herrera. The plans were followed and modified by Leonardo Turriano, Baltazar Álvares, Pedro Nunes Tinoco and João Nunes Tinoco.

The church of the Monastery has a majestic, austere façade that follows the later Renaissance style known as Mannerism. The façade, attributed to Baltazar Álvares, has several niches with statues of saints and is flanked by two towers (a model that would become widespread in Portugal). The lower part of the façade has three arches that lead to the galilee (entrance hall). The floorplan of the church reveals a Latin cross building with a one-aisled nave with lateral chapels. The church is covered by barrel vaulting and has a huge dome over the crossing. The general design of the church interior follows that of the prototypic church of Il Gesù, in Rome.

The beautiful main altarpiece is a Baroque work of the 18th century by one of the best Portuguese sculptors, Joaquim Machado de Castro. The altarpiece has the shape of a baldachin and is decorated with a large number of statues. The church also boasts several fine altarpieces in the lateral chapels.

The Monastery buildings are reached through a magnificent baroque portal, located beside the church façade. Inside, the entrance is decorated with blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery, including scenes of the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. The ceiling of the room has an illusionistic painting executed in 1710 by the Italian Vincenzo Baccarelli. The sacristy of the Monastery is exuberantly decorated with polychromed marble and painting. The cloisters are also notable for the 18th century tiles that recount fables of La Fontaine, among other themes.

In 1834, after the religious orders were dissolved in Portugal, the monastery was transformed into a palace for the archbishops of Lisbon. Some decades later, King Ferdinand II transformed the monks' old refectory into a pantheon for the kings of the House of Braganza. Their tombs were transferred from the main chapel to this room.