Castles in the Sky: top castles to see on your trip to The Ardennes region
Luxembourg is well-known for its large density of castles, indeed for a relatively small territory, it offers more than 100 castles, not counting all the manors and large estates. The beauty of these monumental buildings isn’t purely architectural, there is something about the passing of time and history, which latches itself to the old rocks of the buildings and lures us in unwillingly.
The more of these we experience, the more their chronicles become clearer and clearer. By putting the pieces of the puzzle together, you can get a more comprehensive understanding of the past, stories told and the hidden aspects of certain very important events, influencing us even today.
Let’s see 5 places which will mesmerize you with their beauty and are easily accessed during your trip to The Ardennes, Luxembourg!
Clervaux Castle – History mixed with modern arts
Perched on top of a rocky hill, this is one of those buildings which raises many questions, and that’s probably the beauty of it. Historians to this day can’t decide if it has been built on Celtic or Roman foundations, and that should tell you a lot about how old the entire settlement really is. With its majestic towers and fortified walls, it has seen constant development since the 12th century onward with such additions as the “Witch Tower”, administrative buildings and stables.
Besides the obvious awe inspiring fact of stepping inside tangible history, the castle also houses a prestigious exhibition: “Family of Man” by Edward Steichen, a collection of 503 photographs, by 273 artists on themes like love, faith, birth, work, family, education, children, war, peace. The first home of this exhibition has been the MoMA in New York City, showcasing its message to more than 9 million visitors during the 50’s and 60’s. Visit Clervaux Castle, drink in the past and be a part of art history by appreciating what modern photography has to offer in such a setting. A perfect afternoon for couples and families alike.
Vianden Castle – A treasure between the clouds
Vianden Castle is what you imagine a castle should look like: majestic, erupting from its green surroundings and dominating over the landscape with silent contemplation. It is one of the biggest, most visited and most beautiful feudal residences, showcasing Romanesque and Gothic styles. It has its origins in a roman settlement, developing into a Carolingian refuge.
As one of the most important monuments of this type in the entirety of Western Europe, it is something you should experience at least once in a lifetime. The annual medieval festival attracts thousands of visitors, offering such delights as knight camps, tournament shows, fire shows, medieval singers and jugglers, music, calligraphy and handicraft demonstrations with exhibitions and other medieval specialties.
Vianden is just a 20-minute ride from La Sapinière vacation park, offering you and your entire family the option of a day-tour without the tiring car ride part.
Bourscheid – A Gothic mystery
This is the biggest castle In Luxembourg, dating back to the 10th century, with Gothic towers and incredible views. It looks like a painting out of a fairytale, the place where time stands still, and visitors find its colossal rock walls almost by accident. Towering over the village of Bourscheid, it is built 150 m above the Sûre, about 380 m above sea level, the perfect position for defense and overlooking the entire region.
If your heart needs even more Gothic esthetic, the nearby Stolzembourg House offers you the desired dose, adding another dimension and flavor to the entire landscape.
Located at a leisurely 20 minutes from La Sapinière holiday park, it offers an easy destination for every single age group and need, showing what The Ardennes region truly has to offer in terms of a rich history, beauty and enigma.
Beaufort Castles – Two castles in one setting: a mix of medieval romance and renaissance beauty
This one is tricky, as with one visit you will get not one, but two experiences and will have the chance to time travel to different eras: Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Take a stroll next to the lake and imagine fair ladies peeking into the reflection of the water, arranging a loose strand of hair. Step into the medieval fortress, dating back to 1050 and almost hear the rattle of chainmail and ruffle of skirts.
After leaving the towers and rocks of the dark ages, you have the chance to visit the 17th century castle, furnished lavishly, emanating beauty, luxury and posh taste. This magnificent set can only be visited with a guided tour, which is a great thing, considering this way you and your group will learn the true history of the entire place, getting a dose of knowledge about two separate times. After the guided walk, you will have the opportunity to taste the chateau’s very on liqueur, the Casséro. Wholesome fun with a dose of knowledge and little bit of fun at the end!
Château de Bourglinster – Feed your soul and mind, gourmet style
The Bourglinster Castle has had its early beginnings in the 11th century, having both Renaissance and Baroque elements, offering a true feast for the eyes with its prestigious positioning on top of a rocky hill speckled with greenery. Today, it is open to the public with a unique offer, hosting gourmet restaurants and offering a special backdrop for events. You can plan a trip and a romantic lunch/dinner to the castle, it is only an hour drive away from the La Sapinière park, with an easy bookings system for their available tables and hours in the restaurants. Try Brasserie Côté Cour with such specialties as Beef Paleron (Kenopod-Faines-Berries-Cataire-Egopode), Trout du Mathonet (Zucchini – Fermented juice with flowers – Apricot), Vegetable Summer Cream (Forest fruit – Lemon – Oxalis). Right next to the Brasserie, you can also locate La Distillerie, based on the same concept of creating seasonal foods with locally sourced elements. Ideas from the menu are: Picking in the Forest, Walking in the Fields, Mother Nature.
Both restaurants offer a wide selection of wines (100+ bottles of the finest bottles) to accommodate not only the foodies but also the winos. A romantic getaway or a culinary adventure with a Michelin star chef, whatever your wish is, you will find everything you were looking for here.
You can plan a tour to visit castles in the region and see all of these wonders easily. La Sapinière holiday park, located Hosingen, Luxemburg is a great choice because of its proximity to these places (20 minutes to 1 hour by car). It offers comfortable bungalows and luxury apartments for every need, from 2 person houses up to buildings with space for 16 people. You can pack up your entire family, pets included and visit this natural setting full of greenery, light and fresh air. Select this as your home base away from your real home and embark on an easy but magnificent adventure, learning about the region trough small villages, castles and exquisite cuisine and wine.
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