The castle at Vianden

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

The castle at Vianden


Vianden Castle, Luxembourg

High up on the hilltop, the castle dominates Vianden. For a thousand years it has looked over the town in some form. And now it is people who look up to it, as one of Luxembourg’s most iconic buildings.

Vianden is a small town in Luxembourg’s north with a population of about 1,500. Up from the river, the road leading to the castle has a small collection of restaurants and bars. One of them, a dark and smoky video bar with music and pool tables, seems out of place in such a provincial location. But it’s a reminder that this is not a tourist trap… this is a home and there are young people here who need some release.

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

But once you’re at the top of that road, past the beers and the schnitzels, it is as though you have stepped back to medieval times. And the castle beckons.

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

After falling into disrepair by the 1800s, several attempts were made in the 19th and 20th centuries to restore it. Unfortunately wars and other factors kept getting in the way. It wasn’t until 1990 that it was finally restored and refurbished in such a way that it was suitable for visitors.

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

Today, exploring the castle gives you a sense of what life was back in the Late Middle Ages. It has been furnished and decorated in the style the Counts of Vianden would have been accustomed to. That includes the huge dining room with its long wooden table and its fireplace from 1450; and the master bedroom with the red curtains around the sleeping area and six small windows.

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

It takes much longer than expected to see everything in the castle – it is deceptively large. There is the armoury, the crypt, the chapel, the kitchen, the halls and more. Staircases appear where they’re least expected, transporting you up to another level of expansive rooms.

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

And at the top is what many people would consider to be the highlight – the views out across Vianden. To be a count here in the 1500s, you would feel like a king. Looking out across your land from such a majestic of homes must have been truly incredible.

vianden castle, luxembourg, castle at vianden, grand duchy

From eavesdropping to the conversations around me, I think most tourists here are from Luxembourg itself – or at least the neighbouring countries. This is not part of the usual trail of European tourism but it is a gorgeous little place with a stunning castle. Worth the detour if you’re nearby.

You can find out more information here about Vianden Castle


  • Alex M | Dec 12, 2012 at 1:56 am

    This reminds me of Neuschwanstein in Germany–especially the random staircases!
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    • Michael Turtle | Dec 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

      You’re not the first person to mention Neuschwanstein after seeing a photo of this castle. I haven’t been there myself, so it looks like it needs to go on the list!

  • D.J. - The World of Deej | Dec 12, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Awesome…very Cinderella-esque
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    • Michael Turtle | Dec 13, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Yes – any of those fairytales could easily be set here!

  • Jade - | Dec 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Wow… looks really impressive up there on that hill!
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    • Michael Turtle | Dec 13, 2012 at 11:17 am

      If I was a peasant there hundreds of years ago, I would have been pretty impressed with a cool castle up on a hill like that. I’m sure it did the trick!

  • Jennifer | Dec 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    What a gorgeous castle. I never tire of visiting them around Europe because they are all a little bit different.
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    • Michael Turtle | Dec 13, 2012 at 11:18 am

      It’s funny you should say that because I started to get a little bit bored of them. Yes, they are all a bit different but not necessarily different enough. This one, on the other hand, was so cool that I was like a little excited kids running around it and exploring!

  • Vera | Dec 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Crumbling ruins everywhere – hello, Europe! But wait! This castle actually looks a bit more interactive, well set up and less crumbly – horray! …I’m not a big fan of the middle ages, more fascinated by the French Grand Siècle and the following shnizzle, but Vianden Castle looks tempting… Should the world not end, we could buy it with the billions I’m gonna win in the lottery anytime soon and then we’d make the cheese there. We’d still call it “Echternacher”, as Vianden is not a decent cheese name – I’m sure you understand this, but if you want to discuss, fine. …It looks quite big, this castle, doesn’t it? I mean, I’m not EXACTLY fond of house-keeping, you know. How about you? Because if you’re not the biggest fan of dusting ever, I think, we can forget it, quite frankly. But it’s okay. I’m pretty sure you can come up with some more suggestions. I’ll stay tuned!
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    • Michael Turtle | Jan 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      Ha – I love all of it! Perhaps we could employ some friendly Luxembourgians (I don’t think they’re really called that) who could make cheese in the morning and then dust the castle in the afternoons. Then we could all have a big feast in the banquet hall together every evening. With your lottery earnings we could host grand parties for the locals… but ask them kindly to do the washing up before they leave. The castle will again be alive and we will have as much cheese as the heart desires!

  • Deb | Dec 21, 2012 at 3:27 am

    We’ve got to get back to Luxembourg. We spent only 1 day there in 2002. I barely remember anything about it. I’ve enjoyed reading about your time there. What a beautiful looking castle too.
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    • Michael Turtle | Jan 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      The castle was one of the highlights of Luxembourg! I’m not sure it’s particularly well-known but it’s definitely worth a trip there.

  • Andrew | Dec 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I liked Vianden years ago when I went. It was a pretty interesting museum too (even for me who normally doesn’t like museums).
    The rest of Luxembourg did not impress me, but this day trip was fun.
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    • Michael Turtle | Jan 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      I guess if you’re spending a lot of time in Germany and France, maybe Luxembourg doesn’t seem too different. But I really liked the place because of its size and quaintness. The castle was definitely one of the best bits of the country, though. Glad you made it there for a trip.

  • Kathy | Mar 5, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Me and my mom visited – she is a Vianden. We made the trip last year and it was a great castle and Luxembourg was really a beautiful place.

    • Michael Turtle | Mar 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      It’s a fantastic castle! I love the way they have done it up… it’s a pleasure to explore and definitely worth doing while in Luxembourg.

  • Vianden Castle and Flying Chairs - Ctrl Alt Travel | May 13, 2013 at 2:41 am

    […] has a pair of rooms honoring the work put into the restoring the castle. (Michael Turtle has a post here with better pictures of the inside than I […]

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