Useldange Castle stands on a small hill in the centre of the village overlooking the River Attert. The ruins present a reasonable picture of the medieval castle, especially the outer wall and one of the round towers. A bridge over the former moat, 10 metres wide, provides access to the castle. The keep, 25 metres tall, stands at the centre of the site.
The castle appears to date from the 12th century when the lordship of Useldange was created. One of the early lords was Théobald d'Useldange. After the dynasty died out in the middle of the 13th century, Jean de Rodemacher became the legitimate proprietor in 1415 by marriage with Irmgard de Boulay. In 1479, Maximilian I confiscated the property and charged Christopher of Baden with its upkeep. As a result of the war between France and Burgundy, the castle and its chapel were seriously damaged. William of Nassau-Vianden, who inherited the castle, sold it to François-Sébastien Bauer of Everlange in 1674. The castle fell increasingly into disrepair and the chapel was desroyed in 1903.
In 1924, American immigrant Mrs Kuhn-Wolff, originally from Useldange, returned to buy the ruined castle. After consolidating the walls in 1934, the family went on to build a modern property over the ruins of the castle's palace. It has now become the town hall. The castle is being restored by the State of Luxembourg.
The castle is open to visitors throughout the year. Special arrangements have been made to allow handicapped and weakly sighted visitors to experience the site.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.