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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Count John VI ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Wiltz, 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

Pettingen Castle Ruins

Pettingen Castle is one of the best preserved fortified castles in the country. In the 10th century, the fortress was known as Pittigero Mazini but received the name of Pettingen in the 13th century. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the Lords of Pettingen were important members of Luxembourg society. They were present at Ermesinde's wedding, at the coronation of Henri IV and at the signing of John the Blind's marriage ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Pettingen, Luxembourg

Koerich Castle Ruins

Koerich Castle ruins is one of the castles in the so-called Valley of the Seven Castles. Standing on level ground in the valley of the stream of Goeblange, the castle's impressive keep and external walls blend harmoniously with the Baroque church and the old houses in the centre of the village. The Grevenschlass, now known as Koerich Castle, was built by Wirich I, Lord of Koerich and Seneschal of Luxembourg at the end of ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Koerich, 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

Hesperange Castle Ruins

Hesperange Castle probably dates from the early 13th century when the Counts of Luxembourg gave Hesperange to the Lords of Rodenmacher who sided with the French when the Burgundians conquored Luxembourg in 1443. Maximilian of Austria dismantled the castle in 1480 and 1482 after battles with Gerard of Rodenmacher. In 1492, he transferred it to the Lords of Baden who had to pawn it in 1692 and could only reclaim it in 1740. ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Hesperange, 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

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

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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of Our Lady before Týn

The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague and has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's towers are 80 m high and topped by four small spires.

In the 11th century, this area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built there for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. Later it was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in 1256. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. By the beginning of the 15th century, construction was almost complete; only the towers, the gable and roof were missing. The church was controlled by Hussites for two centuries, including John of Rokycan, future archbishop of Prague, who became the church's vicar in 1427. The roof was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). His sculpture was placed on the gable, below a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. The southern tower was not completed until 1511, under architect Matěj Rejsek.

After the lost Battle of White Mountain (1620) began the era of harsh recatholicisation (part of the Counter-Reformation). Consequently, the sculptures of 'heretic king' George of Poděbrady and the chalice were removed in 1626 and replaced by a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, with a giant halo made from by melting down the chalice. In 1679 the church was struck by lightning, and the subsequent fire heavily damaged the old vault, which was later replaced by a lower baroque vault.

Renovation works carried out in 1876–1895 were later reversed during extensive exterior renovation works in the years 1973–1995. Interior renovation is still in progress.

The northern portal is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion. The main entrance is located on the church's western face, through a narrow passage between the houses in front of the church.

The early baroque altarpiece has paintings by Karel Škréta from around 1649. The oldest pipe organ in Prague stands inside this church. The organ was built in 1673 by Heinrich Mundt and is one of the most representative 17th-century organs in Europe.