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From the sixteenth century to 1867, the city of Luxembourg was one of the most fortified cities in Europe. Passed from Roman Emperors to the House of Burgundy to Spanish Kings and the Prussians, its central location made it a much sought after strategic position, and though much of the historic defenses have been dismantled, there still exists many historic remnants of the past.
Palaces, forts and castles both ruined and restored are littered about the countryside, many open to the public and some dating back almost a millennia.
Set in the heart of the city, the Palace is where the Grand Duke exercises the majority of his official duties.
The exterior of the building dates from the sixteenth century Flemish Renaissance, while the interiors are illuminated by more the modern light design of Ingo Maurer. If visiting during the summer take advantage of a guided tour for a truly spectacular glimpse of the beauty and elegance of this historical building.
First constructed in the eleventh century, the ruins of this castle will appeal to avid photographers. Set against the picturesque landscape with many walking trails nearby, Beaufort Castle is a ruin with an abundance of perspectives.
A trip to the village of Bourscheid rewards you with a idyllic European setting over which towers one of Luxembourg's oldest castles. Archaeological evidence suggests some of the castle dates back to the time of the Romans. Recent renovations see the castle light up during the evening, illuminating the countryside in a spectacular display.
Overlooking the town of Larochette from a high, the castle dates back to the eleventh century, though fire destroyed some of the castle in the sixteenth century. Much of the structure remains intact to this day.
On a visit to Larochette Castle you will see dungeons, dining halls, and servants quarters. There's also a well carved into stone at the back of the fort where legend says a dragon was born. Each Good Friday it is said the dragon awakens to cause mischief around the castle. Visit on Easter to find out if the rumours are true.
One of the oldest and most well restored castles in Luxembourg, Vianden Castle was originally built between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries on the foundations of a Roman Castle and Carolingian refuge.
With a long and storied history of powerful owners including the Counts of Vianden and the German House of Nassau, Vianden Castle was transferred into state ownership in 1977, after which it was painstakingly restored to glory.
Significant parts of the castle include the small palace, chapel, and grand palace. Visits guided tours and audio tours are available year round.
Young by most standards, Walferdange Castle was constructed in 1824 as a stud farm for horses. Impressed with the size and design of the castle, it was turned into a royal residence some four decades later. Through its history it has also been used as a hospital, teacher training institute, army barracks, and now hosts the facility of literary disciplines for the University of Luxembourg.
Seven magnificent castles reside within the Valley or Eisch (also known as the Valley of Seven Castles) each with their own unique character. Drive the 24 kilometres of peaceful roadways joining them together. For more athletic adventurers, a 37 kilometre walk through the countryside can also be taken over several days.
One of two castles in Ansembourg, the New Castle is the centremost castle in the Valley of the Seven Castles. The French style gardens include fruit trees and exotic plants and are open to the public every day.
Located high above the village, the old castle is the private residence of the Count and Countess of Ansembourg. While the residence is private, the gardens are available to the public.
Located in the town center of Mersch, the castle serves as the town hall and is not open for public visits. The town is well worth a visit for the quaint, peaceful tranquility of regional Luxembourg.
Dating back to the twelfth century, this small, tall castle is currently under renovation with plans to open a visitor’s centre soon.
First built in the eleventh century, Hollenfels Castle’s pointed dome tower is recognisable from some distance. Used as a centre for youth activities, there's even a hostel nearby.
Overlooking the village of Septfontaines, this castle is privately owned and no public access is permitted at this time, though it is sometimes used for conferences and receptions.
The porcelain shapes and figurines adorning the exterior are part of a recent renovation project, and an homage to the original 1783 owners and builders, Jean-François and Pierre-Joseph Boch, who had opened a porcelain factory nearby some years earlier. The result is a unique and exemplary château.
While it remains in ruin, the Koerich Castle has a rich history dating back to the twelfth century. The site is open to the public and blends in well with the baroque still church and village houses nearby.