Visiting the castles scattered throughout Luxembourg is the ideal opportunity to plunge into the country's history, but also to discover exhibitions, enjoy medieval and music festivals, and even hike through natural areas.
Witnesses to history
Situated in the heart of Western Europe, Luxembourg's territory has often been coveted by great powers. To protect itself from invasions, many fortifications were built over the centuries, which today represent a rich heritage not to be missed by history enthusiasts. Indeed, 1,000 years of history and more than 70 castles are waiting for you in Luxembourg!
Here is a small selection of these magnificent buildings that we invite you to explore.
- The castle of Vianden, a Luxembourg icon in the north-east of the country, built between the 11th and 14th centuries, remains one of the most beautiful feudal residences of the Roman and Gothic periods in Europe. Don't miss the permanent exhibition on the history of the site, considered the symbolic cradle of the Orange-Nassau dynasty, to which the grand-ducal family still belongs today.
- The castle of Beaufort consists of two castles: the medieval and the Renaissance. The charm is enhanced by the beauty of the landscape: The ruins of the fortress are built on the edge of a picturesque pond, at a short distance from forest and the Mullerthal's sandstone rock formations.
- The imposing ensemble of Larochette castle is situated on a promontory overlooking the valley of the White Ernz, in the Mullerthal region. Its history dates back to the 12th century and the legend of the ghost of a provost transformed into a dragon awaits young audiences!
- With its triangular shape and an enclosure with 11 towers, the castle of Bourscheid overhangs the Sûre by 150m. Located in the region of the Luxembourg Ardennes, it is the largest castle in the country! In the evening, the illumination makes this building with more than 1,000 years of history even more impressive.
There's a lot on offer - take a look at the information on castles and fortifications available on the portal visitluxembourg.com.
A book to discover the feudal and fortified heritage in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Between 2010 and 2020, the National Sites and Monuments Service has carried out around one hundred restoration and enhancement projects for the Grand Duchy's architectural heritage. A large part of these projects concerned the feudal and fortified heritage, namely castles and the remains of the Luxembourg fortress.
Among these projects, 12 have been chosen to illustrate the book XII – Patrimoine féodal et fortifié au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. This is a largely photographic work, which focuses on the goals and methods of the works carried out on the following sites: Mont Saint-Jean Castle in Dudelange, Brandenbourg Castle, Rham Fortifications in Luxembourg, Rumigny Fort in Luxembourg, Clervaux Castle, Esch-sur-Sûre Castle, Bourscheid Castle, Beaufort Castle, Hielepaart in Luxembourg, Koerich Castle, Bourglinster Castle and Vianden Castle.
The book has been published with the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Sites and Monuments Service as part of the 25th anniversary of the inscription of the old quarters and fortifications of the City of Luxembourg on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is now available in the shops of the Ernster bookshop and at the Nationalmusée um Fëschmaart for 22 euros. Not to be missed if you are passionate about castles, history and photography!
Culture within castles
The castle of Clervaux is nowadays a high place of photography in Luxembourg. It hosts the exhibition The Family of Man, a remarkable collection of documentary art photographs collected by Edward Steichen, which is listed in the UNESCO' s Memory of the World Register.
Each summer, fans of concerts, theatre nights and art performances are expected at Wiltz castle. The amphitheatre hosts the Wiltz Festival, featuring international artists, Luxembourg premieres and hybrid productions combining various arts. Shows are available for all audiences!
Lovers of medieval festivals and children will delight in the medieval festivals organised by many Luxembourg castles, such as Bourscheid, Useldange, Beaufort and Vianden.
Discover the castles on a hike
Want to explore the country's history while staying active? Then the Valley of the Seven Castles is the perfect getaway. Discover the Eisch valley and its seven castles: Mersch, Schoenfels, Hollenfels, the old and new castles of Ansembourg, Septfontaines and Koerich. Through a 37km national hiking trail, capture not only the history but also the landscape of the Guttland region.
Besides, if you don't have the time to walk the whole trail, then take this 27km circuit and make a few stops by car.