Bourscheid Castle

Bourscheid Castle is situated on an isolated promontory, accessible only from the north-west, 150 meters above the level of the river Sûre meandering down below, near the village of the same name, north of the town of Ettelbruck in Luxembourg.

Bourscheid Castle probably dates back to the 10th century, when a stone construction replaced an earlier wooden defensive structure. Bourscheid Castle was first mentioned in a document in 1095. At first the little square near the keep, the chapel and the palace with the great hall were surrounded by a circular wall with at least 4 towers.

Work on the outer circular wall with 8 towers started shortly after the year 1350. It was finished in 1384; the same year in which the Stolzemburger House, a residential building, was erected.

As the circular wall with its 8 towers now offered better protection to the core of the castle, the great hall was built to a height of at least 10 meters, which corresponds to 4 storeys. A bakery was added on the top of a 2-level dungeon hewn into the naked rock.

Behind the gateway, which was built only after 1477, a ditch protected by 4 towers barred the access to the upper and the lower castle. The square in front of the exterior gate was protected by palisades. In this area stood the linden tree under which justice was spoken.

After 1512 Bourscheid Castle began to dilapidate when the Lord of Bourscheid had died. His heirs made 3 separate homes for themselves on the castle grounds; the Metternich family in the old palace and keep, the Zant von Merl family in the lower part of the lower castle and the Ahr family in the Stolzemburger House. Although in 1650 the chapel was enlarged, only bailiffs lived in the castle from then on. The Stolzemburger House was completely rebuilt in 1785 but then the old palace and the chapel had already partially collapsed.

The invasion of Luxembourg by French revolutionary troops in 1794/5 put an end to feudalism.

The castle was abandoned in the beginning of the 19th century and fell to ruin. In 1972 the ruins of Bourscheid Castle, which had been declared a national monument in 1936, were bought by the Luxembourg State and opened to the public. Since then parts of the castle were restored.

At present the Stolzemburger House seems to be used for cultural activities and the gatekeeper's house houses a small museum which traces the history of Bourscheid Castle and the Lords of Bourscheid.

This is a nice and well known castle in Luxembourg. In my opinion however it is a little over-restored; it looks to new and for me it lacks the authentic feel of other Luxembourg castles. It can be visited for a small fee.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Bourscheid Castle

Bourscheid Castle is situated on an isolated promontory, accessible only from the north-west, 150 meters above the level of the river Sûre meandering down below, near the village of the same name, north of the town of Ettelbruck in Luxembourg.

Bourscheid Castle probably dates back to the 10th century, when a stone construction replaced an earlier wooden defensive structure. Bourscheid Castle was first mentioned in a document in 1095. At first the little square near the keep, the chapel and the palace with the great hall were surrounded by a circular wall with at least 4 towers.

Work on the outer circular wall with 8 towers started shortly after the year 1350. It was finished in 1384; the same year in which the Stolzemburger House, a residential building, was erected.

As the circular wall with its 8 towers now offered better protection to the core of the castle, the great hall was built to a height of at least 10 meters, which corresponds to 4 storeys. A bakery was added on the top of a 2-level dungeon hewn into the naked rock.

Behind the gateway, which was built only after 1477, a ditch protected by 4 towers barred the access to the upper and the lower castle. The square in front of the exterior gate was protected by palisades. In this area stood the linden tree under which justice was spoken.

After 1512 Bourscheid Castle began to dilapidate when the Lord of Bourscheid had died. His heirs made 3 separate homes for themselves on the castle grounds; the Metternich family in the old palace and keep, the Zant von Merl family in the lower part of the lower castle and the Ahr family in the Stolzemburger House. Although in 1650 the chapel was enlarged, only bailiffs lived in the castle from then on. The Stolzemburger House was completely rebuilt in 1785 but then the old palace and the chapel had already partially collapsed.

The invasion of Luxembourg by French revolutionary troops in 1794/5 put an end to feudalism.

The castle was abandoned in the beginning of the 19th century and fell to ruin. In 1972 the ruins of Bourscheid Castle, which had been declared a national monument in 1936, were bought by the Luxembourg State and opened to the public. Since then parts of the castle were restored.

At present the Stolzemburger House seems to be used for cultural activities and the gatekeeper's house houses a small museum which traces the history of Bourscheid Castle and the Lords of Bourscheid.

This is a nice and well known castle in Luxembourg. In my opinion however it is a little over-restored; it looks to new and for me it lacks the authentic feel of other Luxembourg castles. It can be visited for a small fee.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.castles.nl/bourscheid-castle#sigFreeIdcfe43901ce