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, storerooms and administrative buildings were added. Finally, in the 18th century, new stables were built.
Over the years, like other castles in Luxembourg, Clervaux fell into disrepair although it was partly restored and used as a hotel before it was finally destroyed in the Second World War during the Battle of Clervaux (December 16 to 18, 1944), part of the Battle of the Bulge.
After being fully restored after the war, the castle is now used partly as a museum and partly for housing the local administration. The south wing houses an exhibition of models of Luxembourg's castles, the old kitchen in the Brandenbourg House is a museum devoted to the Battle of the Ardennes while the upper floor house display photographs by Edward Steichen in an exhibition entitled The Family of Man. The remaining rooms are used for the services of the local administration.
It houses the commune's administrative offices as well as a museum containing an exhibition of Edward Steichen's photographs. The castle is open to visitors.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.