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 moat and keep, it was seriously damaged by the French in the 1550s. In about 1567, Frédéric de Hagen-Fleckenstein reconstructed the castle, placing the new buildings around a large rectangular courtyard. The old square-shaped tower dating back to the castle's Gothic origins remained as part of the new complex. The castle is built in the Renaissance style inspired by Italian architecture from the last half of the 15th century. In the 17th century, the castle was burnt, rebuilt and occupied by the Polish troops of the imperial army.
In 1753, Arnold-François von Daun, baron de Tornaco, bought the castle and moved in with great ceremony. Victor de Tornaco who became prime minister of Luxembourg in 1860 was one of its most noteworthy occupants. The castle remained in the hands of the barons of Tornaco until 1950 when Auguste sold it to the Commune of Esch-sur-Alzette. For 50 years, it was then use as a home for children, under the name Kannerschlass. In 1965 a pavilion was constructed in the park next to the castle, which included accommodation for the director of the Kannerschlass.
In 1972, as a result of financial difficulties, it was taken over by the State of Luxembourg. In 1999, the Kannerschlass ceased to occupy the castle, and the building was refurbished.
The property is now an orphanage and children's home known as the Kannerschlass or children's castle. It also houses the headquarters of the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l'Europe (CVCE).References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.