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The best castles in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is a country of castles and castles of Luxembourg are some of the best and most beautiful castles in a whole world. Awfully beautiful with a fairy tale mist around them.
In the medieval times Luxembourg had 106 castles, currently, there are about 50 of them. Some restored to its full or partial glory such as Vianden, Beaufort, Bourscheid, Bourglinster or Clervaux; and some are very picturesque ruins such as Esch-sur-Sûre, Larochette, and Useldange.
I planned my visit in Luxembourg around the National Day as I have heard it is the best time of the year to visit and that Summer in the City Festival makes it so much more fun.
But you know me, I had to do some exploration outside of the Luxembourg City!
And I guess it paid off because now I can present you the most beautiful and magical castles of Luxembourg.
Many of the castles of Luxembourg are private properties not open to the public. Some really spectacular ones such as Berg Castle where the Grand Duke of Luxembourg has its residence, therefore, I have made sure that each castle on this list is open for visits.
If you wish to read a more light-hearted article about amusing facts I have observed in Luxembourg check out ‘Things You Didn’t Know about Luxembourg‘.
1. Vianden Castle
Luxembourg’s best-preserved monument. A true pearl in the crown as they say. Set strategically on the hill above the pretty Vianden town illuminates with a very unusual beam during the sunset hours.
The castle laid its foundations on the ancient Roman castellum and Carolingian refuge. The state of Luxembourg restored it, with a lot of effort, to its former glory between 1977 and 1990 when it was open to the public. The interior of the castle is as impressive as its exterior, it is as authentic as it gets!
If you only came to Luxembourg for a short weekend than Vianden is your day trip must. And hey the quaint Vianden town is perfect for a little break from a big city. It is the best one of all castles of Luxembourg.
Be sure to check event/festival calendar as those change often.
2. Bourscheid Castle
Bourscheid Castle is another grandiose monument of Luxembourg which history dates back to the year 1000 when the first stone fortification replaced older wooden construction. The restoration works are ongoing from 1972.
An impressive ring wall with 11 watchtowers surrounds the castle standing proudly on the isolated promontory above the Sure River.
The night illumination of the castle is truly impressive and should be on ‘the photo list’ of every photographer and drone enthusiast.Topmost 9 castles of Luxembourg in a full glory! #luxembourgisacastlesparadiseClick To Tweet
3. Larochette Castle
Larochette Castle belongs to the category of ruins, yet it was my absolute favourite Luxembourg castle.
Maybe because ruins strike certain nostalgia in me and are so much better for pictures. The trick to getting this fabulous shot is to check for a lookout tower on the opposite hill and climb it.
It stands proudly on the hill above the White Ernz stream. You have noticed a pattern by now, I’m sure :)
Town of Larochette is a part of Mullerthal region – Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland, therefore, it gets busy with cyclists stopping for lunch, but most of the time you will explore the ruins by yourself and that always adds up the experience in my opinion.
The site is open only from April to October but to be honest I bet that seeing it covered in snow is a ‘wow’ as well!
4. Bourglinster Castle
If you are an ultimate food and fine dining aficionado like me, Bourglinster Castle is your place. House to a Micheline starred restaurant ‘La Distillerie’, one of the best in Luxembourg.
The castle was first mentioned in the 11th century and rebuild and restructured over 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. Fully restored between 1968 and 1982 is open for exhibitions, concerts, and events.
You can only visit the castle by appointment, so do have it in mind when planning a visit.
5. Beaufort Castle
Another one of my favourites from all Luxembourg castles (yes, I love ruins) is actually two castles. The old medieval castle and the Renaissance castle of Beaufort.
The ‘modern’ part was built by the son of Johann Baron von Beck – governor of Luxembourg in 1649 and was inhabited till 2012.
The government of Luxembourg declared it the cultural heritage in 1850, even though it was in the stage of decay after the construction of the Renaissance chateau, and in 1928 Edmond Linckels cleared the rubble and made the site available to the public.
The guided tours are available from Easter to November. The old castle from 9 am to 6 pm and ‘new castle’ from 11 am to 4 pm. The rest of the year you can request the tour at the castle office, better contact them before arriving.
I have toured both the ruins and the Renaissance castle and got to taste the famous Beaufort cassero – a blackcurrant liqueur produced in the castle from a secret recipe. As a result, I may or may not have needed to check-in my luggage because of few bottles of that deliciousness.
Oh, and I got to play around with my camera a bit and pretend to be a character from the Middle Ages as you can see in the picture above.Ruins or fully restored castles, Luxembourg has everything for every castle lover! #castlehoppingClick To Tweet
6. Esch-Sur-Sûre Castle
Esch-Sur-Sûre Castle, now a ruin, looming over a small town of Esch-Sur-Sûre is protected by a sharp meander in the River Sûre which makes for a perfect location from a strategic point of view.
Shortly after buying a castle in 927 Meginaud started to construct the big residential tower from which the castle started to expand in the 13th and 15th century. It started to lose its glory from the 18th century on until the state of Luxembourg acquired it in 2005.
It started to lose its glory from the 18th century on until the state of Luxembourg acquired it in 2005.
The site hosts many fun festivals such as ‘Night of Legends’, ‘Waiters’ Race’ and ‘Ghost Night’ and is open to the public whole year round.
The castle ruins are a great attraction but what got my attention when I was researching Luxembourg attractions before my visit was the town of Esch-Sur-Sûre itself. The smallest town of Luxembourg with 250 inhabitants.
When you look at pictures of Esch-Sur-Sûre you know you are in for a treat, and you are right. The place is gorgeous and the sourcing areas of Upper Sûre Park and Lake – Luxembourg’s largest body of water make for a pretty road trip and some great hiking opportunities.
7. Ansembourg Castle
To be precise there are two Ansembourg Castles. The old one and the new one, both located in the Valley of Seven Castles.
The old medieval castle located above the village of Ansembourg is a private residence of the current Count and Countess of Ansembourg, therefore it is closed to the public and the only chance to see it is to stay in the boutique Temps d’Or Hotel located in one of the buildings of the castle.
Because there is no real chance to see the castle, it didn’t make it to my list of the most beautiful and magical castles of Luxembourg, even though it could easily be in the top five.
The new Ansembourg Castle is closed to the public as well but beautiful French Gardens of the castle can be visited most of the time from 9 am to the sunset, and the garden is what makes the visit anyway.
Numerous statues, fountains, divers botanical collection from flowers to fruit trees made the gardens famous even outside of Luxembourg.
8. Clervaux Castle
It is worth visiting the Clervaux Castle for many reasons, but let’s start at the beginning.
The history of the castle starts in the 12th century and flourish all the way till the WWII when it burns down during the Battle of Bulge.
After the war, the state of Luxembourg undertook a magnificent restoration to its medieval times look, but inside is nothing like you can imagine.
The Clervaux Castle holds the most important photography exhibition in Luxembourg, if not in the whole world – The Family of Man.
The Family of Man is a famous photo exhibit curated by Edward Steichen and displayed in MoMA in New York City for a first time back in 1955. After touring the world it settled in Luxembourg in 1994.
Edward Steichen and ‘The Family of Man’ changed the world of photography forever, it was a milestone in the history of photography. If you follow me on Pinterest you know I love photography, so this exhibition was a real highlight of my trip to Luxembourg.
Seeing the exhibition is quite an emotional experience, you walk through themed rooms: birth, fathers and sons, mothers and children, education, love, work, death, and religion. Seeing the pattern makes you think. An interesting fact: every picture is exactly where it was at MoMA back in 1955.
It is a Luxembourg must see, not only for photography lovers!'Family of Man', best photography exhibit ever, is hosted in Clervaux Castles in Luxembourg!Click To Tweet
9. Useldange Castle
Overlooking the River Attert, in the village of the same name you can find awfully beautiful ruins of Useldange Castle.
It makes a very interesting stop on the castle route in my opinion, and as I said before ruins are very picturesque, and this one is no exception.
That is it. Topmost 9 castles of Luxembourg. And now a few logistics.
Some logistics at the end!
By Car – The easiest and the fastest way to move around Luxembourg, so if you have a driving license and you like to drive that is your option.
By Public Transport – If you are like me – meaning you do not have a driving license, public transport is your friend. Luxembourg has some superb public transportation system, I don’t have to tell you that it is always right on time. There is an amazing app – Mobiliteit, to check daily schedules, both for Android and Apple.
By Bike – Luxembourg has a lot of biking routes and you can reach all of the castles on the bike. If you can I, of course, admire you as you are a superhuman :)
By Hiking – Luxembourg maybe doesn’t strike you as a hiking location but you couldn’t be more mistaken.
Geoportali, the geoportal website, is your friend both for hiking and biking, it has all the routes divided by regional, international, mountain bike and road bike routes, even the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg 2017 exact route.
And for hikers, everything is there too: national footpaths, long-distance footpaths, nature trails, Way of St.James and even Luxembourg on the horse. Easy to use on the Android and Apple.
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And do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions about castles of Luxembourg or Luxembourg City, more than happy to chat!
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