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 the 14th century, the south-western tower gate and the northern keep appear to have been built by Jofroit d'Ansembourg. Since the times of Jakob II de Raville-Ansembourg, the castle does not appear to have been significantly altered. The main entrance bears the date of 1565. In 1683, the castle was damaged by the French troups of Marshal de Boufflers. In the 17th century, repairs were carried out by the Bidart and the Marchant et d'Ansembourg families who built the New Castle of Ansembourg.
Today the castle is owned by Count Gaston-Gaëtan de Marchant et d'Ansembourg who moved into the property after the death of his father. At the end of 2008, the Luxembourg government acquired the family's library (around 6000 books) and were offered the family archives. Interest had grown in the collection after the Codex Mariendalensis manuscript telling the story of Yolanda of Vianden was found in 1999 by the linguist Guy Berg. The manuscript dating from the end of the 14th or beginning of the 15th century was especially significant as it was written in the Moselle Franconian dialect which is closely related to modern Luxembourgish.
The castle is strictly private property and is not open to visitors. Recently, the Count of Ansembourg opened a very exclusive boutique hotel, in one of the buildings surrounding the castle.References:
The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.
The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.
There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.
In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.
After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.
The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.
Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.
Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.
Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.