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 the 12th and beginning of the 13th century in late Romanesque style. It was expanded in 1304 by Godefroid of Koerich who gave it a more Gothic appearance. The keep, now 11 m tall, was certainly much higher when it was built. With a base measuring 12 by 11.6 m and walls up to 3.5 m thick, it is one of the most impressive in the entire region. A spiral staircase inside one of the walls provided access to the different floors.
Surrounded by a moat, the castle originally had a fortified entrance with a portcullis. From 1380, Gilles of Autel and Koerich converted the stronghold into a more comfortable residence by building two 12-m towers at either end of the south wall. The south-western tower which still stands, houses a chapel on the ground floor. In 1580, the new owner Jacques de Raville made further changes, demolishing part of the property and adding two Renaissance wings. The stately fireplace on the first floor and large rectangular windows testify to the castle's palatial splendor at the time. The south wing was again altered in 1728, this time with Baroque additions.
After the death of the Ravilles in the second half of the 18th century, the castle started to fall into ruin owing to lack of maintenance. In 1950, Pierre Flammang, the last private owner, carried out some essential structural repairs before the castle finally came into the hands of the State. Although major repairs are still in progress, the site can be visited free of charge.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".