Châteaux de Beaufort
The new castle in Beaufort: historic overview
The Renaissance castle of Beaufort was built next to the medieval castle and is located in the
romantic valley of “Haupeschbach”. It had always been the main or secondary residence of the owner families and has never been open to the public until now.
After the death of the last occupant, Mrs. Anne Marie Linckels-Volmer in 2012, the castle, which has been stately owned since 1981, was opened for guided tours, on the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and with the support of the “Service des Sites et Monuments Nationaux” and the association “Amis des Châteaux de Beaufort”.
Apart from a few additions and modifications over the last centuries, Beaufort Renaissance castle has fortunately never suffered damage and has basically remained unchanged since its construction more than 360 years ago.
The Renaissance castle of Beaufort was built by a major Luxembourger, Jean Baron de Beck, born in 1588 in Luxembourg-Grund. He was the son of Jean Beck, a riding messenger of the Luxembourg Provincial Council from Saarburg in the Lorraine and departed from a humble background towards a fantastic military career.
Due to his military successes and his loyalty, General Jean Beck was made a baron by Emperor Ferdinand III on 18th April 1637. Shortly thereafter, he was entrusted with the command of all the troops standing outside the fenced cities of the Duchy of Luxembourg and temporarily took over the civil and military command in the Duchy of Luxembourg. In January 1642, Beck also became a civil governor of the Duchy of Luxembourg. Until his death in 1648, he kept this position. He was also the only Luxembourger who held this office within the present borders of the country.
In 1639, Beck bought two properties in the Duchy of Luxembourg: Heisdorf and Beaufort.
Beck was an active general and governor. He reinforced and expanded the fortifications of the city of Luxembourg. In 1644, several bastions were set up, including the bastion later named “Beck Bastion” (where one can find today the “Place de la Constitution” and the “Gëlle Fra” in Luxembourg City).
It is not exactly known when the first construction of Beaufort Renaissance castle started, but it is most likely set after 1643. The short east wing of the castle was completed already in 1648, the year of the death of Jean de Beck, except for one final vault stone. The entire castle was finished in 1649, according to the inscription above the western entrance. The main entrance was decorated with the coats of arms of the Beck-Capelle alliance, carved in stone.
The approximate plan of the castle had been documented for the first time in detail on the Ferraris map of 1771/78. The four wings, the bridge and the rear garden can be seen on that map.
Isaac of Treybach, a military engineer and close associate of Jean de Beck, is generally believed to be the architect of the extensive castle construction.
The following names are amongst the most prominent owners of the castle: Jean Georges Baron de Beck, Eugène-Albert Baron de Beck, Pierre Coumont, Jean-Théodore-Guillaume Baron de Tornaco de Vervoz, Charles Alexandre Joseph Comte de Liedekerke-Beaufort, Charles and Henri Even and Anne Linckels-Even.
In 1928, Edmond Linckels, who had inherited the castle and the castle domain from his parents, freed the ruins of their ancient rumble and performed many consolidation works, so that the castle could be visited from 1932 onwards as an important historical monument. He undertook further commendable efforts for the maintenance of the ruins and the castle. Since 1930, he had been dealing with the production of a well-known cassis liqueur in Luxembourg called "Cassero", which is still produced in the castle cellar.
In 1934, Edmond Linckels married Annemarie Volmer born in Berlin in 1914, daughter of the then President of the Senate of the Superior court of Berlin, Max Joseph Volmer and Marcelle Schwartz, whose grandmother was Anne-Catherine Even from Beaufort who was also the sister of the former owners of Beaufort castle, Charles and Henri Even.
Their son José Linckels, born in 1936, remained unmarried and died in 1989 in the castle.
During the Battle of the Bulge in 1944/45, the new castle received many shell impacts, but most bounced off the thick walls. The damage was repaired soon after the war. During those days of war, the Linckels-Volmer family, like most of the inhabitants of Beaufort, had been evacuated. The castle was occupied by soldiers and the castle’s archives were scattered to the winds. After their return in March 1945, the the castl’s own dairy made sure that the children of Beaufort were provided at least with milk during this difficult time. The agricultural farm of the castle was abandoned around 1964 and the lands were leased. Edmond Linckels, who had also made great contributions to the development of tourism as president of the Beaufort tourist office, died in 1975.
His widow continued to manage the ruins of the castle, the properties and the production of spirits. According to an agreement dated 8th April 1981 and in order to secure the preservation of the building for the future, Mrs. Linckels transferred the ruins of the castle with the land to the Luxembourgish government against a life annuity and the right of residence. Even in high age, Annemarie Linckels-Volmer participated in the life of the village and was an active member on the board of many associations such as the association for elderly persons, the “Amicale” and the cultural commission. In 2009, she was awarded the distinction "Officier de l'Ordre de la Couronne grand-ducale de Chêne" for her merits in the development of tourism.
As in the past for her husband, it was an obvious concern for her and her employees to make every effort in the sense of preservation, in order to maintain the ruins and the Renaissance castle for future generations. As a long-standing president of the “Amis du Château de Beaufort”, she had also made efforts to open the magnificent ruins to the public.
Anne Marie Linckels-Volmer died on 8th August 2012 at the age of 97. After the death of her husband, she had been the last chatelaine of Beaufort castle for more than 37 years.
The guided tour of the Renaissance castle starts at the gate built around 1643 by Baron Jean de Beck to allow direct access from the medieval castle to the Renaissance castle. After crossing the iron bridge built around 1896/97, one has a first overview of the building made in Luxembourg limestone.
Inside the main building of the castle, the large reception room, the dining room, the offices, the staircase, the bedrooms, the corridors with their vaulted ceiling, the castle terrace, the kitchen and the castle’s own gardens can be visited.
The courtyard of the castle is accessible as well as the former stables in the north wing, the distillery and the pleasure garden.
The tour lasts about an hour.
Opening times and prices
The two castles of Beaufort (the Renaissance castle and the medieval castle) are open from Easter until end of October. The ruins are open every day from 9 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. and the Renaissance castle is open every week from Thursday to Sunday, for guided tours at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. (max. 12 persons). Access to the Renaissance castle is at the entry of the ruins near the parking lot on the road.
Guided tours for groups are possible the whole year and can be booked at the regional tourist office:
- Office Régional du Tourisme de la Région Mullerthal – Petite Suisse Luxembourgeoise, tel : 352 72 04 57, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Les Amis des Châteaux de Beaufort : Mme Jacqueline Kuijpers, Tel : 352 83 67 56 or 352 26 87 69 43, mobile : 352 621 394 790, email@example.com
Admission fees :
- Visit of the medieval castle
The visit of the castle includes the entry to the castle with free visit of the ruins, the visit of the courtyard and the castle garden, a brochure as well as tasting the blackcurrant liquor « Cassero ».
- Adults: 5 €
- Children, adolescents and students (<26 year): admission free
- Groups (from 12 persons): 4,00 €/ p.p. (the guide is not included)
- With culture pass: free admission
- 60-minute guided visits upon request:
- ORT Mullerthal | Tel.: 352 72 04 57, 60 €, 3,00 €/p.p.
For more information, visit www.castle-beaufort.lu
- Visit of the medieval castle and the Renaissance castle (only with guide)
From Thursday to Sunday, at 11 a.m. and at 4 p.m.
The combined visit of the old castle and the Renaissance castle includes: the entry to the castle with free visit of the castle ruin, the guided tour of the Renaissance castle, the courtyard and the castle garden, a brochure as well as tasting the blackcurrant liquor « Cassero ».
- Adults: 10 €
- Children, adolescents and students (<26 year): 5 €
- With culture pass: free admission
For more information, visit www.castle-beaufort.lu
Information and booking: Les Amis des Châteaux de Beaufort asbl | tel. : 352 26876943
Requests for guided visits apart from the regular opening times (11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) from Thursday to Sunday: 60 € 3,00 € p.p. | ORT Mullerthal | Tel.: 352 72 04 57