Must See: The Jewel of Luxembourg

Rachel PearsonWritten by | Europe, Luxembourg, Our Weekends, Review

Vianden Castle

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.

Vianden from the road

Vianden from the road

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.

Body Armour in The Arms Hall

Body Armour in The Arms Hall

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.

Te Archeological Cript Walkway

The Archaeological Crypt Walkway

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 Jean-Pierre Koltz Hall

The Jean-Pierre Koltz Hall

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.

View of The Inner Courtyard and Valley, from the Byzantine Gallery

View of The Inner Courtyard and Valley, from the Byzantine Gallery

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.

Entrance to Vianden

One of the four gates to Vianden

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!

The Large Cellar

The Large Cellar

For more information check out Vianden Castles website and DO NOT travel through Luxembourg without dropping by.

Vianden, a final view

Vianden, a final view

Here are some more photos from our visit, enjoy.

Last modified: 1st February 2016

4 Responses to :
Must See: The Jewel of Luxembourg

  1. Meg Jerrard says:

    Vianden Castle sounds amazing! Haven’t had the chance to visit Luxembourg yet though really hoping to have the opportunity soon. Thanks for the tip on the audio guide – overall a very reasonably priced attraction, so it’s definitely going on the list!

  2. I’d love to visit Luxembourg. I’ve always read about how beautiful it is and gorgeous castles are a bonus!

  3. As an architectural/ history obsessive Luembourg sounds like the destination for me I would love to visit one day and explore its quaint historic settlements .

  4. Fabiola says:

    I just added this to my bucket list. What an amazing castle! And it does look like they went through great trouble to restore. I agree this is a must-see.

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