Vianden Castle is the centrepiece in the country of castles known as Luxembourg.
Situated on German border and built over the centuries on Roman Ruins, this breath-taking castle is a must visit for anyone travelling in the region. In addition to the castle itself, the site also offers a view into medieval life, the evolution of the castle, and its amazing restoration from ruins.
Whilst it’s possible to get there by train or taxi, we would strongly recommend driving there as Luxembourg is a fantastic road trip destination. The drive through the Ardennes is both beautiful and exciting and as you descent the valley into the town of Vianden make sure you stop off in the various laybys (safely) to get a spectacular look at the castle from the hillside.
Visiting the castle costs €6 for adults with discounts for children, students, and groups. We’d strongly recommend paying the additional €2 for easy-to-use informative audio guide which smoothly and succinctly explains the rooms and ramparts of the castle. The audio guide provides some very interesting facts that aren’t included in the museum’s guide, including that people in medieval times used to sleep sitting up!
The castle tour is broken into 20 rooms that each tell their own story. Most rooms will represent a different era of the castle when they were either built or restored and contain artefacts, antiques, pictures or models.
The tour and audio guide roughly follow the evolution of the castle starting in the Roman Archeological crypt at the bottom of the castle and then head upwards towards the more modern areas of the castle built in the 14th century.
Our favourite room on the tour was the The ‘Jean-Pierre Koltz Hall’ which is the Castle’s old grain loft. This room is dedicated to restoration work that the castle underwent. In 1820, King William I of Holland sold the castle piece by piece which led to its long descent in ruin. However, in 1977 the Grand Duke of Luxembourg transferred it into State ownership and with the drive and support of the ‘Friends of Vianden Castle Association’ began rebuilding and restoring the castle to its former greatness.
The J.P. Koltz hall is an amazing timeline showing paintings, photos and models of the castle’s rise, decline and restoration. The castle tour itself is part an ode to those who dedicated their time, energy, and themselves to the rebuilding of this amazing monument.
The audio guide tour will take an hour to walk around the castle and listen to the narrative but we would strongly recommend leaving at least two hours in order to also enjoy the exhibits in the rooms and take in the amazing views from the castle’s courtyards, windows and vantage points but also to admire the castle from the various laybys and viewpoints in the valley.
We were lucky enough to visit the castle on a gorgeous summer day in August, but we’d also recommend planning a visit around the castle’s medieval festival held every summer which includes demonstrations of medieval music, dancing, falconry and sword fights. The festival also opens up the cellars of the castle so that you can drink and be merry just like Luxembourgers would have done 700 years ago!
For more information check out Vianden Castles website and DO NOT travel through Luxembourg without dropping by.
Here are some more photos from our visit, enjoy.
Last modified: 1st February 2016