Vianden Castle, or Veiner Schlooss, is one of the largest fortified castles west of the Rhine and is located in Vianden in northern Luxembourg. These are some of the largest heavily guarded castles west of the Rhine. The castle was constructed in the Romanesque style between both the 11th and 14th centuries, but it has ancient connections. At the end of this period, Gothic transformations and trimmings have been added. In the 17th century, a Renaissance mansion has been added, but the castle was left to deteriorate. It has recently been completely restored and is now available to the public.
We’ll explain you everything you need to know about Vianden, Vianden Castle, and other nearby attractions. However, you can also learn more about Vianden’s fine hotels and restaurants. Vianden’s allure hasn’t faded over the centuries, thanks to its location on the Our River in the Ardennes Forest, close to the German border, and the only chair-lift in Luxembourg.
Where is Vianden Castle located?
Vianden Castle, in the northwestern part of Luxembourg, is one of the biggest heavily guarded castles west of the Rhine. It is situated above the small town of Vianden in the northern part of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg known as the Eislek, in the heart of the Luxembourg Ardennes. The castle, built on a rocky outcrop, stands 310 meters high, dominating the town of Vianden and overlooking the River Our about 100 meters below. The castle and its associated structures have a total length of 90 meters.
The Valuable History of Vianden Castle Luxembourg
Vianden Castle origins date back to the 10th century. Vianden Structure was built between the 11th and 14th centuries on the ruins of a Roman ‘castellum’ as well as a Carolingian refuge. It is Europe’s largest and most beautiful feudal residential building from the Romanesque and Gothic periods. It was the seat of the powerful counts of Vianden until the early 15th century, when they could boast close ties to the Royal Family of France and the German imperial court.
Henry I of Vianden is known as ‘the Sun Count,’ because it was during his reign that the House of Vianden’s holdings, lifestyle, and influence reached their pinnacle. For hundreds of years, his ancestors were powerful in the Ardennes, Eifel, and Luxembourg regions.
Margarete of Courtenay, his wife, had been a member of the French Royal Family, the daughter of the Latin Emperor of Constantinople, the King of Hungary’s sister-in-law, and King Philip-Augustus’ cousin. Margarete’s ancestors should include Crusaders as from Flanders as well as Hainault families, and also Henry and Margarete’s son, Frederic, who did serve in the Fifth Crusade. The empire passed to the House of Nassau by inheritance in 1417, and in 1530, it was joined by the principality of Orange.
The castle wasn’t any longer the presidential palace of the counts after that. Because no further changes were made, the rich architecture that the House of Nassau inherited can still be seen. The major parts of the castle that have survived to this day, particularly the chapel and the small and large palaces, date from the late 12th and early 13th centuries.
The castle was sold piece by piece in 1820, during the reign of King William I of Holland, and as a result, it fell into disrepair. It was a shambles until 1977, when the Grand Duke of Luxembourg’s family gave it to the state. Even before being rebuilt to its former glory, the castle has now become not only a regional, but also a European, landmark.
The Castle’s Ascension, Fall and Rebirth
From 1090 onwards, successive Counts of Vianden constructed the castle we see today on the site of Romand and Carolingian fortresses. The original, austere structure housed a chapel, residential rooms, and kitchens, which were expanded and accessorized over next two hundred years.
In Gothic splendour, it rivaled the castle of the Counts of Luxembourg by 1200. The title managed to pass to the powerful Orange-Nassau Princes, and Prince William the Silent visited Vianden in 1564 to supervise the building projects of a blast furnace. The Renaissance-style Nassau Mansion, with its banqueting hall as well as bedroom, has been constructed in 1621 by Prince Maurice of Orange-Nassau-Vianden, but the Princes lost interest in the town and the palace after that.
The castle has been sold to Wenzel Coster, a Vianden alderman, in 1820 by Prince William V of Orange-Nassau-Vianden, who had proclaimed himself King William I of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1815. Coster managed to sell off the roof tiles, the wooden paneling, the windows and doors, and the castle was soon in ruins.
Vianden Castle how to get there?
Using public transportation, it is very quick and easy to get there. You will travel by train and bus, but the cost per person is only 4 Euros. To get your route, I recommend downloading the CFL Mobile app and the Mobiliteit.lu app. You can take Vianden Breck, which is at the bottom of the hill but close to a very nice cafe, or Vianden Place Engelmann, which takes you higher up the hill toward the castle. Also, even if you do not purchase the Luxembourg Card, which I highly recommend, I recommend downloading the Luxembourg Card app because it contains useful information and public transportation stops near attractions. Enjoy your visit; the castle is a must-see attraction. There are lots of things to do in Vianden Castle.