TOP 25 CASTLES IN LUXEMBOURG

TOP 25 CASTLES IN LUXEMBOURG

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To all the castle lovers out there: did you know that Luxembourg has more than a hundred castles? When we came back to Luxembourg in 2013, we swore we would explore all the castles in our homeland. It took me a while, but now I have finally decided to tell you about these top 25 castles in Luxembourg.

 

 

GRAND CHÂTEAU D’ANSEMBOURG

 

 

Located in central Luxembourg, the Grand Château d’Ansembourg was built by the Belgian industrialist Thomas Bidart in 1639. At first, it was not a castle, but just a mansion which Bidart called “La Maison des Forges” (the House of the Ironworks). This mansion, which consists of the central part of today’s castle, was extended throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, to become today’s Grand Château d’Ansembourg.

 

While the interior of the Grand Château d’Ansembourg can only be visited during special events, the castle’s enchanting gardens with a labyrinth, several fountains and sculptures are open every day and can be visited for free. In fact, it’s the castle’s gardens and not the castle itself that we like best! Did you know that we even had our engagement photo session in the castle’s idyllic gardens?

 

CHÂTEAU DE BEAUFORT

 

 

The Château Fort de Beaufort is one of Kerstin’s favorite castles in Luxembourg. When she was a kid, she spent a lot of time exploring (and playing) in the ruins of this castle, since her godmother used to live in Beaufort.

 

Protected by a moat, the medieval castle of Beaufort was built between 1050 and 1650 during four different construction periods. From the mid-18th century onwards, it was so neglected that it soon crumbled in ruins. And at the beginning of the 19th century, it was even used as stone quarry!

 

In 1928, Edmond Linkels, the owner of the castle decided to clean up and restore parts of the fortress and opened it to the public in 1932. Today, the castle is a national monument owned by the State of Luxembourg. The ruins can be explored between April 1st and October 31st, but it’s best to avoid visiting when it rains a lot. In August 2021 for instance, a 12m-high wall collapsed due to the severe flooding in Luxembourg!

 

CHÂTEAU DE BETTENDORF

 

 

Bettendorf lies in eastern Luxembourg, less than 15km from our hometown. And yet it took us 8 years to notice that the village has its own castle!

 

Built by Ernest-Joseph d’Olimart in 1728, the Baroque-style Château de Bettendorf was heavily damaged during WWII. In 1962, the castle was sold to the firm Immocentrale, which restored it thoroughly. It’s now a private residence and cannot be visited. But you can still get a good look at both sides of the castle from the outside, so it is definitely worth a stop.

 

CHÂTEAU DE BIRTRANGE, SCHIEREN

 

 

The first time we heard of the Château de Birtrange was in January 2021, when we saw in the national newspaper that the castle was for sale. Of course, we immediately went to get a peek!

 

Founded in the 13th century and rebuilt in 1775, the Château de Birtrange in the commune of Schieren is currently owned by the Red Cross. Vacant since 2002, it first belonged to the Blochausen family (Baron Félix de Blochausen was a Luxembourgish Prime Minister in the late 19th century), and then to the Broqueville family (Charles de Broqueville was a Belgian Prime minister in the 1910s and 1930s). When the Baroness Claudine de Broqueville died in 2018, she donated the castle to the Red Cross.

 

However, the Red Cross, a humanitarian organization, can’t use a building in such a bad shape. This is why they put the Château de Birtrange up for sale in January 2021, starting at €5,2 million. If you happen to be the one who bought it, please let us visit the castle someday!

 

CHÂTEAU DE BOURSCHEID

 

 

We visited the Château de Bourscheid during a magical wintry day. Covered in snow, the path towards the castle was so slippery that it took us half an hour to reach the entrance!

 

Built around the year 1000 on Roman foundations, the castle of Bourscheid was extended several times between the 14th and the 16th century. When the chapel collapsed in the 19th century, the château fell into ruins and was abandoned by its last owner Schenk von Schmidtburg. The State of Luxembourg added the ruins to the list of historical monuments in 1936 but acquired the castle only in 1972. After several years of restoration works, the Bourscheid Castle is now open to the public and can be visited all year round.

 

CHÂTEAU DE BOURGLINSTER

 

 

Dating back to the 12th century, the Bourglinster Castle was rebuilt, renovated and restored many times. The fortified gates and the two defensive towers were constructed in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Whereas the Baroque façade at the back of the courtyard was built in the 18th century. When the State of Luxembourg acquired the Château de Bourglinster in 1968, more restoration works were undertaken until 1988.

 

Today, the Bourglinster Castle hosts one of the best restaurants in Luxembourg, and three banquet and conference halls that can be rented for business meetings, gala dinners or cultural events. We wanted to celebrate our wedding in this castle. But since all three banquet halls were already booked on the date of our wedding, we ended up holding our wedding dinner in the Château d’Urspelt.

 

CHÂTEAU DE BRANDENBOURG

 

Perched on a promontory at 70m above the village, the Château de Brandenbourg was at first a wooden fort built in the 9th and 10th centuries. The first stone buildings are from the 13th century, the chapel from the 14th century, and the vaulted cellars, the bailey, the curtain walls as well as the two towers date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1687, the castle was heavily destroyed by the French, and fell into ruins. Although it became a national monument in 1936, restoration works and archaeological excavations started only in 1998.

 

When we explored the Château de Brandenbourg, we were the only visitors onsite, which made our experience so unique! The entrance is free, and we wandered around for hours, and were absolutely thrilled by the panoramic views from the top of the 12m-high keep.

 

CHÂTEAU DE CLERVAUX

 

 

With its white-washed walls and round turrets, the Château de Clervaux is one of those typical fairytale castles that could have inspired Walt Disney!

 

Located in northern Luxembourg, the Clervaux Castle is steeped in history going back to the 12th century. In the 15th century, it was greatly extended when it was owned by the House of Brandenburg. After the castle was badly damaged during WWII, it was acquired by the State of Luxembourg, who undertook many restoration works.

 

The Clervaux Castle is now divided into three different museums. One is dedicated to the Battle of the Buldge (1944-1945). Another displays models of Luxembourgish castles. And the third museum hosts the famous permanent exhibition “The Family of Man”, curated by Edward Steichen when he was the director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA).

 

CHÂTEAU DE BERG, COLMAR-BERG

 

 

If you have visited Luxembourg, chances are that you’ve seen the Grand Duke’s palace in Luxembourg City. But the Grand Duke’s principal residence is actually at the Berg Castle, located in Colmar-Berg. Unlike the Grand-Ducal Palace in the capital which can be visited on a guided tour in July and August, the Berg Castle cannot be visited.

 

But if you’re like us, who absolutely want to see ALL the castles in Luxembourg, then you might want to have a stroll on the rue de Mertzig and the rue de Grentzingen in Colmar-Berg, from where you can get a peek of the Grand Duke’s estate.

 

The origins of the Berg Castle date back to the 15th century, but the castle that we see today is actually rather new as it was built between 1907 and 1911, after the old castle was demolished in 1906.

 

CHÂTEAU DE COLPACH

 

 

The Château de Colpach, located in western Luxembourg, is actually more like a mansion house.

 

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, the Colpach Castle was owned by the Luxembourgish steel industrialist Émile Mayrisch. Together with his wife Aline, they turned the mansion into a top-notch meeting place where noteworthy politicians, writers and artists gathered.

 

Shortly after WWII, the castle and its surrounding gardens were bequeathed to the Red Cross when Aline Mayrisch died. The mansion then became a convalescent home. In 2010, a brand new modern building was built right next to the castle to accommodate more patients. Personally, we find the new building hideous, and built way too close to the castle, which kills the whole romantic atmosphere of an elegant mansion.

 

The last time we visited the Colpach Castle, the mansion was vacant and looked totally abandoned. So, we could easily walk up to the castle’s windows and get a glimpse at the inside. It seems like there’s no specific project for the future of the Colpach Castle. But clearly, something needs to be done to save this historical monument, don’t you agree?

 

CHÂTEAU DE DOMMELDANGE

 

 

Surrounded by a huge parc and several ponds, the Dommeldange Castle was built in the 17th century by the forge operator Thomas Marchant. In 1869, it was renovated and extended by the engineer Antoine Hartmass. The turrets were one of the elements which were added at that time.

 

The castle of Dommeldange had always been a private residence until it was sold to the State of Luxembourg in 1973. But even if it’s a State property now, the castle cannot be visited, as it houses the headquarters of the Chinese Embassy in Luxembourg. But you can still get a look of this castle from the outside. We also got a chance to discover a tiny part of the inside when we went to the embassy to get a visa for our trip to China.

 

CHÂTEAU D’ERPELDANGE, ERPELDANGE-SUR-SÛRE

 

 

The Château d’Erpeldange as we see it today was built in 1630, but its foundations go back to the 12th century. Between 1840 and 1882, it belonged to the church of Erpeldange and was therefore also used as a church from time to time.

 

To be honest, we had never heard of the Erpeldange Castle until the day we saw it by chance when we drove through the town of Erpeldange in northeastern Luxembourg. Surrounded by a peaceful park, the castle houses the administrative offices of the commune of Erpeldange since 1987. This is the reason why we could walk around the park and get a closer look of the castle. Unfortunately, the building was closed that day, so we couldn’t see the majestic white marble stairway, as well as the two Renaissance fireplaces inside the castle.

 

CHÂTEAU D’ESCH-SUR-SÛRE

 

 

Looming proudly over the town, the castle of Esch-sur-Sûre is one of our favorite castles. Originally, it was just an 8m-tall Romanesque tower, built in 927 by Meginaud and his wife Hiletrude. In the 13th century, this tower was expanded in the Gothic style, and became a “real”-looking castle. Two defensive towers, a round watchtower, an entrance gate and the castle stables were built in the 15th century, around the time when the whole village was surrounded by a 450m-long rampart.

 

When the troops of Louis XIV arrived in 1685, they dismantled parts of the castle which already started to fall into ruins at that time. A few families still lived inside the castle when Victor Hugo visited Luxembourg in 1871. In the beginning of the 20th century, the architect Charles Arendt restored parts of the castle. But the major restoration works started only in 2006, after the State of Luxembourg acquired the ruins of the castle.

 

CHÂTEAU DE HOLLENFELS

 

 

Perched on a rocky spur at 315m above ground level, the Hollenfels Castle dates back to the 11th century. To reach the entrance of the castle, you have to walk up a steep path, cross wooden bridges as well as a brick bridge over a defensive ditch. The keep, a 39m tall square tower, and the sumptuous Gothic Room are definitely the most impressive parts of the Hollenfels Castle. The mansion built against the northeastern side of the keep was added in 1729, but its Baroque styled interiors are from 1921.

 

Today, the Hollenfels Castle belongs to the State, and accommodates a hostel and an educational center for young people. But did you know that the castle was used as a prisoners’ camp during WWII?

 

CHÂTEAU DE KOERICH

 

 

Located in western Luxembourg, the Castle of Koerich, also called Gréiweschlass in Luxembourgish, is a lowland castle surrounded by a moat.

 

Built in the late 12th century by Wirich I, Lord of Koerich, the Gréiweschlass is best known for its keep, also called “Witch Tower”. Today, it’s only 11m tall, but the keep was once around 30m high, which made it one of the most imposing towers in the region. In 1304, Godefroid of Koerich expanded the Gréiweschlass and turned it into a Gothic castle. Further changes were made by the castle’s subsequent owners in 1380, in 1580, and once again in 1728 with Baroque additions.

 

Did you know that Kerstin grew up in Koerich, less than 500m away from the Gréiweschlass? Having spent her childhood playing inside the castle’s ruins is probably what made her love castles so much!

 

CHÂTEAU DE LAROCHETTE

 

 

Built on a rocky promontory, the Castle of Larochette dominates one of the most picturesque villages of Luxembourg, which we are lucky to call home. Truth be told: we chose to settle down in Larochette after spending a decade in Paris, mainly because of the castle view. So, obviously the Château de Larochette is our absolute favorite castle in Luxembourg!

 

The history of the Larochette Castle dates back to the 11th century, but most of the site was built during the 14th century. At that time, the castle was owned by five noble families, who decided to build five separate manors inside the main castle. However, the castle was gravely destroyed by a fire in 1565. Of the five manors, only the House of Créhange and the Hombourg House were restored by the State of Luxembourg in the 1980s. The three other manors remain in ruins.

 

Legend has it that when the castle was attacked, the lady of the house jumped into the well inside the House of Créhange, holding her baby child. When the woman was saved, the steward of the castle was accused of treason and thrown into the well. It is said that he reappears in the form of a dragon on every Good Friday.

 

Well, we haven’t seen this dragon yet. But if you’d like to check if it’s there, you can visit the castle and have a peek into the well. The Castle of Larochette is open to the public every day, between Easter and October 31st. Inside the House of Créhange, there’s usually a temporary exhibition all year round.

 

CHÂTEAU DE MERSCH

 

 

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The Château de Mersch is one of the castles that belong to the Valley of the Seven Castles. Since 1988, it houses the townhall of Mersch, and therefore cannot be visited. However, you can still walk around its premises and even enter the castle if you need something from the commune’s administration. Depending on the reason why you manage to enter the townhall, you might be able to see the Knights Hall with its exceptional fireplace.

 

The castle that we see today has a Renaissance architectural style and was built by Paul von der Veltz in 1574. But the foundations of the Mersch Castle go back to the 13th century. The medieval castle was built by Theodoric, a knight in service of the Countess Ermesinde of Luxembourg, but it was destroyed by the Burgundians.

 

CHÂTEAU DE MEYSEMBOURG

 

 

Located only 3km away from Larochette, the Neo-Renaissance styled Castle of Meysembourg lies in the middle of a thick forest and is also one of our 10 favorite castles in Luxembourg.

 

Built in 1880 by Prince von Arenberg following the plans of the architect Charles Arendt, the Meysembourg Castle has its own chapel and moat, and is surrounded by a wall. The castle had a medieval predecessor which dates back to the 12th century. However, there’s no remains left of the medieval castle.

 

As the Château de Meysembourg is privately owned, it cannot be visited. A few years ago, the owner planned to transform it into a luxury hotel, as soon as the renovation works are fully undertaken. As of now, we’re not sure if this project will be carried out.

 

CHÂTEAU DE PETTINGEN

 

 

The village of Pettingen is not far away from Larochette and Meysembourg. And yet, it took us several years to notice the existence of the Château de Pettingen, which moreover can be visited for free!

 

The village’s castle was actually a fortress, which dates back to the 10th century, when it was known by the name of “Pittigero Mazini”. But this fortress was completely destroyed in the 15th century.

 

The ruins of the Pettingen Castle that we see today date back to 1571. At that time, the castle had a square keep in the center and four round corner towers, encircled by a wide moat which was watered by the nearby Weillerbach, a tributary of the Alzette river. The castle belonged to the House of Créhange, which was one of the five noble families who lived in the Castle of Larochette. In 1837, the Château de Pettingen was sold to the Duke of Arenberg, whose descendent, the Prince of Arenberg, also owned the Castle of Meysembourg.

 

Legend has it that on July 15 at midnight, a lady with long hair stands on the walls of the Pettingen Castle to call out for her baby girl. If you happen to visit the ruins on a July 15, let us know if you see that lady!

 

CHÂTEAU DE SCHOENFELS

 

 

Built in 1292, the Schoenfels Castle is a fortified keep located in the valley of the Mamer stream. It’s now a State property, and it has undergone some major restoration works for many years. Someday, the 25m-tall tower will accommodate a visitor center, as well as a museum dedicated to water and forestry.

 

One of the reasons why I appreciate the Schoenfels Castle so much is because this castle is somewhat a beacon of hope to me. It lies halfway between my home and work, so when I get a peek of it from afar while driving home, I know that it’s time for me to let go of work, especially after a stressful day in the office!

 

CHÂTEAU DE SCHORELS

 

 

Deep in the forest between Eschette and Wahl in northwestern Luxembourg, lie the ruins of the Schorels Castle, perched on top of a rocky spur between two brooks.

 

Little is known about the history of this 13th century castle. In fact, all we know for sure is that it was built by the Lords of Useldange to serve as a retreat and a refuge, and not meant to be inhabited year-round.

 

According to legend, there’s a long tunnel which connects this little castle with that of Useldange, located about 15km away. If that tunnel really existed, we wonder what other mysteries the Lords hid in there…

 

CHÂTEAU D’URSPELT

 

 

Located in northern Luxembourg not far away from Clervaux, the Urspelt Castle has a history that goes back at least three centuries, In 1860, it was expanded by its owner Amand Bouvier. During WWII, the castle was used by the Nazis as their headquarters in Northern Luxembourg. After the war, it stayed unoccupied and slowly fell in decay until 2005, when it was bought by Freddy Lodomez, who paid for extensive restoration works. Three years later, the property finally reopened and was turned into a charming restored luxurious hotel, with an enchanting wellness spa, a gastronomic restaurant and a large hall for wedding banquets or business meetings.

 

For us, the Château d’Urspelt is a very special castle, because it was in this romantic haven where we celebrated our wedding. We stayed in the 100sqm Grand Ducal Suite and had our wedding dinner in the authentic banquet hall. We even sent off sky lanterns from the castle’s courtyard, and our guests absolutely loved this unique experience!

 

CHÂTEAU D’USELDANGE

 

 

Perched on a hill overlooking the River Attert, the Useldange Castle appears to date from the 12th century. However, it fell in total ruin in the 17th century. And it was only restored in the early 20th century, when the ruins were purchased by a native from Useldange, who returned to Luxembourg after emigrating to the USA at age 18. Today, parts of the Useldange castle accommodate the offices of the municipal administration and are thus open to visitors throughout the year.

 

The best time to visit the Château d’Useldange is during the Medieval Festival in June. But whenever you choose to visit this castle, make sure to climb to the top of the 25m-tall central tower, which has been used as an echo chamber by generations of musicians in Useldange who perfected their play by the reverberating sound.

 

CHÂTEAU DE VIANDEN

 

 

Located in northern Luxembourg, the Château de Vianden is definitely the most famous castle in Luxembourg. In 2019, the Vianden Castle was even listed by CNN as one of the most beautiful castles in the world!

 

Standing proudly on a rocky spur high above the town of Vianden, the castle truly looks like out of a fairytale. This is perhaps the reason why it attracts so many visitors from around the globe. But the fact that the Counts of Vianden had close connections to the Royal Family of France and the German Imperial court – and were therefore one of the most influential counts of Europe – is certainly another aspect that makes the Vianden Castle so famous throughout centuries.

 

The Vianden Castle was built between the 11th and the 14th centuries on the foundations of a Roman castellum and a Carolingian refuge. But most parts of this castle that we see today have been built, rebuilt and restored many times since the 11th century. Today, the castle is open to the public and can be visited throughout the year, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

 

CHÂTEAU DE WILTZ

 

 

During Twixmas (the period between Christmas and New Year), we usually explore a new European city. But during the pandemic in 2020, we chose to stay in Luxembourg, and ended up visiting the city of Wiltz, in northern Luxembourg.

 

Located in the heart of the city, the Château de Wiltz dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries. But it stands on the foundations of a much older castle, which was destroyed by the French in 1388, and again in the middle of the 15th century. Count John VI of Wiltz, aka Count Jan – the famous armoured knight who belonged to one of the oldest noble families of Luxembourg – started to build this Renaissance-styled castle in 1631. But due to famine and epidemics during the Thirty Year War, the construction of the castle was halted several times and was completed only in 1720 by Count Charles-Eugène de Custine.

 

Parts of the castle of Wiltz now houses the United Business Institutes and can therefore not be visited. However, the castle’s stables host the National Brewery Museum, the Tannery Museum and the Battle of the Bulge Museum. We haven’t visited the museums yet, but there are guided tour of the Wiltz Castle and the museums. Also, if you’re a fan of music, you should definitely attend the annual international music festival held in the Wiltz Castle from late June to mid-July.

 

Which of these top 25 castles in Luxembourg would you like to visit?

If you love castles, you might want to check out these splendid castles to visit in France.

 

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Top 25 Castles in Luxembourg © Travelwithmk.com

Top 25 Castles in Luxembourg © Travelwithmk.com

 

 

Follow Mei:

Traveler - Storyteller

Mei is a 30-something Archaeologist, born and raised in Luxembourg. Besides traveling, she loves eating sushi and stinky cheese (although not at the same time), as well as listening to Kerstin's funny stories while driving on long road trips. She's afraid of heights, but adores panoramic views. Her favorite places are those she chose to live in: Paris, Greece, San Francisco.

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