Castle Vianden in Luxembourg
We are on the way in Luxembourg's northeast. Sandy Rischette from Tourism Luxembourg accompanies us on our tour through her country. So far, we only know Luxembourg from driving on the highway. Now, however, we realize how much we have missed. We drive along narrow country roads through small and pretty villages to more and more hilly regions. These indicate that we are approaching the Luxembourg Ardennes, which is our destination for this morning. The roads are also becoming curvy, and the deciduous forests are getting denser. Suddenly, at a crossroads, Sandy turns onto an uphill road, only to stop at a lookout point. At this we literally catch our breath: right in front of us lies Vianden Castle. It towers like an eagle's nest on a towering cliff above the Ourtal. A sight that leaves us in astonishment!
Like an eagle's nest, the castle sits on this rocky spur that rises freely above the idyllic river valley. Surrounded by dense deciduous forests, it rises above the village of the same name, over the cobblestones of which we descend to the bottom of the valley. In the village we finally come to the small tourist train that goes through the village and up to the castle. Instead we prefer the driveway with the chairlift. This gives us more spectacular views of the Ourtal and the castle. At this we slide past in our airy armchairs. All we hear is the rattling of the wheels when our chair is pulled up over the pillars. In between whispers only the wind, as it brushes through the leaves in the trees under our feet, and occasionally a bird chirping.
Practical: the Luxembourg Card
Here, as in many museums and public transport throughout the country, the Luxembourg Card applies. These are available for a validity period of one, two or three days. In some attractions there are cheaper admission, in others the entrance fee is completely included in the map. The best thing about this card is that all public transport with this card can be used for free. You get this card online on the website of Visit Luxembourg.
By chairlift to a lookout over the castle
We let the chairlift carry us up the steep slopes above the tree-tops of the deciduous trees, while our legs dangle freely over the abyss. Once at the top there is a great view of the castle and the Ourtal. We can hardly get rid of it. Finally, we set off. This leads through the forest on bumpy forest paths to the castle. A short hike, which is definitely worth it.
From the Roman fort to the castle
Castle Vianden, as it stands today, was created between the 11. and 14. It was built on the foundations of a Roman fort and a castle from the Carolingian period. Until early 15. In the 19th century, it belonged to the Earls of Vianden. After an eventful history of time and time when the owner changed hands and eventually fell into disrepair, 1977 became a state-owned property and has since been restored to its traditional grandeur. Today, the castle also serves as a museum, exhibition grounds and venue.
A tour of Vianden Castle
We take our time and follow the tour, which first gives us an insight into the castle's history in the lower rooms of the castle. Equestrian armor, cannons, and harnesses also give us an idea of the life of this castle as it has evolved over the centuries. I almost expect that a living knight will stand in the next room with an impressive cross-vault, so authentically have the castle and its rooms been restored.
Our tour through Vianden Castle becomes really impressive when we reach the upper floors. Here, the rooms have been furnished with furniture and tapestries. In a reconstructed kitchen we can also see how and where the food was once cooked. I especially like the long hall with open arches through which we can look down into the Ourtal and the town of Vianden below. In one of the rooms, the original color of the columns, capitals and walls has been restored to stand out from the usual gray walls and vaults, giving an impression of what the castle once looked like like.
We walk through halls that seem to have just left the inhabitants - the open fireplace in one room is still smeared with soot - and arrive in halls that are waiting for guests to eat their meal. Other rooms are very large, making them ideal for concerts, theater performances and other events. From open platforms and balconies we can look down into the valley and understand why Vianden was built here. A conquest of this castle and its predecessor castles and forts was virtually impossible, as it is so high above the river that an attack was virtually impossible.
Conclusion: a journey back in time
Anyway, our visit to Vianden Castle is like a journey back in time to the era of the counts and kings who came and went here. We can well imagine what life was like in this impressive castle.
More information can be found here:
Montée du Château
Phone: + 352 84 41 08 1 / + 352 84 92 91
Fax: + 352 84 92 84
For overnight stays, we recommend the Sofitel Le Grand Ducal in Luxembourg
Do you also know:
- Romantic: the Benedictine abbey in Stein am Rhein
- Luxembourg Specialties you should know
- Luxembourg, a charming city of short distances
- Eat well, wine and the Moselle - enjoy life in Luxembourg
- Treetop walks in Germany
- Hotels by country
- Discover palaces and castles
- Balloon Museum Gersthofen
Source: On-site research. In any case, we would like to thank Visit Luxembourg for inviting us to this trip. However, our opinion remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline