Castle Vianden in Luxembourg

in Pinmapple7 months ago

Before moving to Switzerland many years ago my husband lived in Luxembourg. We kept coming back a few times each year to spend time with our friends until we had to change our priorities, and somehow five years passed by since our last visit.

About two months ago we were asked to join the annual business run in Luxembourg City and we couldn't be happier to get an opportunity to visit our beloved country again. After such a long time we finally came back two weeks ago.

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We decided to visit our favorite places outside of the city as well. One of those places is a medieval town called Vianden located less than an hour drive from the city with its stunning castle towering high above the town.

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We could see the castle peeking between the trees from afar. We came here by car, but it is super easy to get here by bus from Luxembourg City as well. Did you know that public transport is free in Luxembourg for everyone? There are many connections as Luxembourg wants to have its public transportation attractive to people.

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There are many parking spots along the road. You can park on the hill opposite the castle or you can drive all the way down to the castle parking from where it is only a few minutes walk up the hill. We chose to park far away and walk to the castle as we haven't done this before. The path was well maintained and led us through the forest until we saw the castle in its full glory.

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The weather didn't look ideal when we reached the fortification. It wouldn't be the first time for us to be caught in a storm here 🙂 But luckily this time we stayed dry!

The original fortification built in this place is more than 1000 years old!

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Vianden is one of the largest fortified castles west of Rhine and it's one of the most important castles in Europe today. It was restored about 50 years ago and it is open to public every day now. There are also several hiking trails in the area, and you can admire the views of the castle from different perspectives. You can also visit the town which is full of restaurants and small hotels. It's one of the most visited places in Luxembourg.

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We walked all the way down to the town and then we had to walk up to the castle. It would have been much easier if they would build a bridge connecting those two hills 🙂

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Almost there!

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Here we are! In the past, you could climb up the wall on the right from another side and take a cool photo. My husband climbed up there when we were visiting with his brother, but we cannot find that photo anymore, so he wanted to climb up the wall again. Guess what? There is a large metal board blocking the path. We were disappointed, but I think that they finally realized that it was dangerous, so they placed some safety measures in place. And selfies from the road are cool too! 🙂

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We came in the afternoon, so there were not that many people anymore. Actually, afternoons seem to be the best part of the day when you visit any castles. Most people arrive before lunch, but around 3 PM there is almost nobody anymore.

You can visit the castle with audio guide that is available in various languages. There are also group tours, but you need to be at least 15 people. The entrance fee is 10 EUR per person + 2 EUR for audio guide if you wish.

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The construction of the castle as we know it today started in the 11th century. Before that there was a small medieval castle in this place. In the 14th century it came into a possession of the Orange-Nassau family that made changes in the Renaissance style. Construction

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Here we can see the residential part of the castle. These chambers are still decorated with period furniture and are known as The Nassau Quarters. The red/white flag belong to Vianden.

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Vianden is located in Éislek, also known as The Luxembourgish Ardennes which is a region well known for its lush forests and plenty of hiking trails. We enjoyed the views of Éislek before going inside of the castle.

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Let's go inside!

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Our tour started in The Small Palace with its impressive Arms Hall. It's one of the oldest parts of the castle with its vaults and windows dating back to the 11th century and the walls here are even older! It used to be the only entrance to the castle.

The hall was used to practice archery indoors and today we can see there armors and weapons, but my most favorite feature in this hall is The Byzantine Gallery which is a masterpiece.

These large round stones were found in the castle and were used to protect it. I'm not sure how exactly it worked, but I imagine large cannons shooting these stones at enemies.

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Look at the complicated lock mechanism of the chest going through the entire upper part. They knew how to protect their gold.

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There are 10 windows along the gallery that allow just enough light to get inside of the hall.

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From the arms hall we moved to The Archaeological Crypt or the oldest part of the castle which has a dungeon feeling. It's a wide tunnel surrounded with thick walls where you can learn about the construction history of the castle from as early as the 3rd century until today.

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When you follow the models you can see which parts were added chronologically over the centuries until its most recent appearance.

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There is also a small exposition of artifacts found at the time of the latest reconstruction works.

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We arrived in The Early Kitchen. This kitchen was used before the residential palace was built.

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Next to the kitchen was a community chapel in the 12th century. People from the village gathered here regularly for the service. Above this chapel is another chapel but for the royalty. The service was held in the upper chapel, and there is an opening in the ceiling through which people below could follow the service. This tradition stopped when the church was built down the hill in the village.

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The upper and lower floors are connected with a courtyard that was damaged on several occasions in the past. In the 17th century it was hit by a lightning which caused fire in the castle. The chapel and a part of the residential building on the left were destroyed.

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The courtyard looked different in the past. There were more buildings surrounding it, but they were destroyed in an earthquake and never rebuilt.

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From the courtyard we moved to The Upper Chapel. The opening in the floor is still there. The chapel is reconstructed in the original colors that were found on the walls. I remember that I was really impressed when I visited the chapel for the first time. It has such an interesting shape and it feels much bigger than it actually is.

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The Monumental Gallery is decorated with beautiful openings towards the Ardennes. The function of this gallery is not known as a construction with so many openings doesn't really make sense in this part of the world, but it is believe that it was used for the representation. I hope that there were no audiences here in winter 🙂

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The last two rooms before the residential area are used for photography exhibitions that are changing from time to time.

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The flag of Luxembourg reminds us of the flag of The Netherlands. The only difference is the shade of blue - Luxembourgish blue is lighter and brighter.

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The Banquet Hall is the first room in the residential part of the castle which was enlarged by the Nassau family, and therefore it is known today as The Nassau Quarters.

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There is a large fireplace in the room which means that it was used for living. It is one of a few original items in the castle.

Another original piece is the large oak closet from the 17th century.

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In The Bedroom there are various objects that show us bits and pieces from the past. This room was probably used as a living room in the past, but it was reconstructed as the bedroom.

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In the past, people slept in a sitting position, and therefore their beds were small in size. This looks like a children bed to me 🙂 The reason why they slept in the sitting position is that the only ones 'sleeping' in the laying position were the dead.

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The staircase is decorated with paintings of the castle...

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And now we are in The Big Kitchen! It dates back to the 16th century and it is built below the bedroom. There are many ingredients and some herbs that I have never heard of. We could see that it belonged to a wealthy household as there were plenty of plates, pots and pans, and cutlery as well.

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This room is next to the kitchen, and therefore it is believed that it was The Dining Room. It is connected with the terrace, and I imagine the ladies going there for their afternoon tea...

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The Knight's Hall is more than 30 meters long and 9 meters wide. This room was heavily damaged and the vaults had to be rebuilt. However, the material was on site and most of it was in a good condition, so it was used for the renovation.

The room had a representation function, so there are enough windows to let the light in, and there is also a fireplace to keep the knights warm.

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I am convinced that this is a fake window 🙂

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The coat of arms of Vianden...

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The Knight's Hall was the last room of our tour, so it was time to go back to the car...

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We have visited Vianden many times before and I am sure that this was not our last visit. This region has many charms, so make sure to visit it when you happen to be in the area.

Thank you for reading,

Cheers!
Martina

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A perfect post and when I say that I mean that here you find from the very well done photos to all the information we would need if we decided to visit this castle.
I love your attention to detail including the way you take the photos which I love.
Thank you for this very interesting virtual tour.

Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂 It's nice to hear that my effort is paying off 😉

You're welcome.
I've always noticed that you put a lot of soul and emotion into your posts which are otherwise amazing.

This is wonderful. I don't know why, but it kind of reminded me of the First Knight movie. I'm not sure why, but maybe it's because of the multiple knight armors, and the unique walls. The pictures from far away are really nice, it seemed to show the subjects enclosed inside the outer kingdom's walls. A lot of the furniture and walls seems to be well preserved, but then I saw some of them were just renovated. At least a lot of the clothes, rugs, and other things are still looking good.

The sudden mix of new art and materials was a surprise, but I like that they were able to utilize more rooms because of it. I think my favorite area was the Monumental Gallery. The colors and design of the place was really interesting. Since its purpose was unknown, my imagination is saying it was used for like a cult worship with the fire in middle haha.

Thanks for sharing.

Most of the items inside were brought here from other places. As many other castles this one too was destroyed/burned down, so there are not many original items left. One of those was the closet that I mentioned. This one was actually placed in the castle 300 years ago.

I was surprised to see it too. In the past, the exposition was focused on the castle, so it was more suited for the place, but I like the nature photos too.

A cult worship with the fire sounds scary 😂 but well, who knows.. maybe this was its true purpose 😉

Thank you for stopping by!

I am in awe of so much beauty, I love castles and every time you bring one up I just stare at it, at every detail, the rocks, the towers, the interiors and how well preserved they are. I love them!

Thank you so much for this tour in this beautiful castle! Thank you @delishtreats ❤️

Thank you for stopping by and for your nice comment! 🙂

Thank you for this luxury publication! ❤️❤️❤️

It's a great feeling to meet friends again after a long time in one of your favorite places. The view of the castle from the outside is amazing, and it is great to be able to take public transportation to such a magnificent historical place. Usually in Norway you have to walk for kilometers to see such beautiful places. The city walls look very impressive, I was very impressed when I saw the walls inside the city when I was in Istanbul in the summer, it reminded me of that. I hope to visit this place one day, by the way, the pricing seemed very reasonable to me. The audio guide makes the tour much more meaningful in places like this, the extra 2 euros for it is a really reasonable price. ✨

Luxembourg is such a tiny country that if you would walk for kilometers you would find yourself in Belgium 😂 just kidding...

I have never been to Turkey, but it's been on my list for some time now, so hope to make it one day..

Yes, the pricing is very reasonable. And the audio guide is a must as otherwise you just walk and have no idea what it all is about...

Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

Love the arches in the arms hall and the knights hall 😍 you always do such a thorough job showing us the whole castle but the exterior views still blow me away. This is such an awesome castle on a hill - looks like its right out of a fair tale.

Indeed, I'm sure that some fairytales were filmed on this castle 🙂 I've seen most of the castles in Luxembourg and this one is the most impressive one...

Have a great day!

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I love these views, it looks very much like an area that will be less populated. A place like this will be good to live with ones family and explore as well.

Cheers to your post

I love everything I am in love

Wow, very interesting place. Top photographs 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

Thank you for stopping by!🙂

What a great tour. I really like that chapel and the pro-tip to go in the afternoon. :)

I try to avoid people as much as I can and I have plenty of tips on how to do it 😂

Wow! It’s like a castle from a fairy tale. I’ll add this on my list.

I hope you'll visit it one day 😉

Hiya, @pinmapple here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Top 3 in Travel Digest #2018.

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Luxembourg has a powerful name in front of all the other European countries (and not only) from many points of view. And honestly, I wish there were more countries learning from this place which even though is so tiny in comparison with any other country, it does a damn great job for both its locals and tourists.

Where a person has lived for a long time, there are many memories of a person and the way we see this castle is really very beautiful and there are many natural sights to see. Seeing such things makes a person very happy and also gets a lot of peace.

Absolutely beautiful!! A fortification from more than 1000 years!! That’s a lot! It’s amazing that beyond the damages and the time, it continues in a good shape. Years ago people built stronger castles than houses that we have today with less technology, hehe.

It’s nice anyway that 50 years ago it was restored.

i love that place i hope to go there someday how much can you spend on a trip for me to visit

The photos of this castle and especially the third photo and the first photo stimulated my imagination and took me to the world of fairy tales.
It is indeed a beautiful castle to visit and if I ever make a trip to Luxembourg in the future I will remember Vianden and this nice post of yours
!hiqvote

I arrived at the castle. I came by free public transport from Luxembourg. I didn't delay because of the transport, it's great, I just got a little lost in those woods, I entered through a passage of vines and I don't know why I was in Krakow at the moment.
Finally I was able to return.