Heisdorf Castle was built by Baron Lippmann in the late 19th century. Surrounded by a large park, it was designed by the Belgian architect Charles Thirion. In 1916, the Sisters of the Christian Doctrine acquired the property as a convalescent home for their community. In 1982, it was opened as an old people's home under the name of Maison de retraite Marie-Consolatrice. In 2007, a new wing was added to the building by the architecture firm Hermann, Valentiny and Partners providing improved facilities for its senior citizens.
The castle consists of two wings at a right angle to one another. The main entrance is in the middle of the building, in the square tower which connects the two wings. The end of the wing on the Alzette side consists of a round tower with a roof in form of a cupola, with a spire above it. This tower contains the knights' hall. From the outside, a monumental stairway leads to the first floor of the tower. Above the main entrance, one can see the years 1645 and 1888. The present castle was built in 1888, on the location where Jean de Beck had built a previous castle in 1645. The castle includes a chapel, which was built by the Sisters in 1924, on the side of the main street, where the two wings are connected. The chapel was built in 1924 and renovated in 2005-2006.
The castle grounds include a large park, along the main road, from which it is separated by a high wall. The park was renovated after 1910, which left the old trees standing. Two of these, a black pine and an oak tree, are counted among the 'notable trees' of Luxembourg.References:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.