Very few nations have the number of castles, ruins, and palaces as the country of Luxembourg. With over 75 fortresses throughout the country, Luxembourg’s rich cultural history is easily explored and learned through visits to any of the nation’s ancient structures. Here, we uncover the history of five of Luxembourg’s most prized castle landmarks:Bourscheid
Bourscheid Castle’s story began around the year 1000, when it was determined that an older fortress at its location required updates. The current castle is named after the first lord of the palace: Bertram of Bourscheid. Situated on an isolated bluff, Bourscheid Castle is only accessible from one direction, making it easy to protect against enemies. Occupied until the French Revolution put an end to feudal power, the castle eventually fell to ruins by the 19th century. In 1972, the Luxembourgish government began restoration work on the property; today, it is once more held in the highest regard, as it is among Luxembourg’s largest castles.
Beginning in the 11th and 12th centuries, Bourglinster Castle was home to various noble families. Between the years of 1682 and 1684, the castle was destroyed by French troops. Rebuilt during the 18th century, ownership of the castle was once again passed on from owner to owner and family to family (it was even transformed into a farm), until it found itself in the care of the Luxembourgish government in 1968. Restoration work quickly began and in 1990, the first restaurant was opened inside the castle’s walls. Today, the fortress is considered a cultural hotspot. Musical and other artistic performances commonly take place on the castle’s grounds.
Photo Courtesy of Junmi
The Grand Ducal Palace
Providing residence to the Grand Duke of Luxembourg since 1890, this palace is perhaps one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Luxembourg, with its Hispanic-Mauresque facade. Upon its completion, the palace first served as a town hall. During World War II, the Germans, who valued the structure’s interior and exterior beauty, had the palace converted into a tavern and the robust collection of grandiose artwork inside was stolen (but eventually recovered). Years after Luxembourg’s liberation from the German regime, the Grand Ducal Palace underwent massive renovations and the fortress was restored to its original brilliance. Today, the public may visit the palace during the summer months and receive tours throughout its magnificent halls and exquisite rooms.
Photo Courtesy of Cayambe
Known as one of the most fairytale-like castles, the Vianden Castle stands proudly upon a hilltop, looking over Luxembourgers below. First built between the 11th and 14th centuries, the castle has a long and prominent history, as its owners held positions of importance in regional affairs. In 1820, the fortification was sold bit by bit to a variety of buyers. The castle then fell into ruins. In 1977, the State acquired ownership of the remaining rubble and Vianden was intricately restored to its previous condition. It represents both national and European culture and importance, as it now houses medieval history exhibits, such as weaponry, armor, dining ware, furniture, art and other archeological finds.
Clervaux Castle was constructed in the 12th century. During the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, the castle was severely destroyed by Nazi bombs. Eventually, the State purchased the fortress and began the long process of restoring it. While Clervaux Castle is a work of art itself, it’s what’s inside that truly captures the hearts of its visitors. The 1955 photography exhibition, Family of Man, by Edward Steichen, permanently resides in the castle’s walls. In 1994, after its 8-year world tour through 6 continents and 37 countries, the exhibition found its home in Clervaux Castle in Luxembourg, Steichen’s home country. The 503 photographs, submitted by 273 artists from 68 different countries, are meant to display themes common throughout all cultures: birth, love, labor, joy and others. The work was first put on display in New York in 1955 and since then has attracted well over ten million diverse viewers. This beautiful exhibition reminds visitors that people have more similarities than most believe. The Museum of the Battle of the Bulge and the Exhibition of Models of Ancient Castles are also housed in the Clervaux Fortress.
Photo Courtesy of LGphotoOp
Dwellworks values culture, history, and continuing education. If on business in Luxembourg, Dwellworks encourages you to venture out and visit any of the sites listed above!
If staying in any of the castles in Luxembourg is slightly out of budget, consider Dwellworks Serviced Apartment offerings in Luxembourg City for your next business trip.
Interested in learning more about Luxembourg? Check out a few of our other blogs about this incredible country!Back to Blog Listing