Château de Clervaux
The castle stands, splendid on a rocky outcrop called « Lay » horseshoe surrounded by the houses of the village. The date of the first foundations of the building is lost in the mists of time. Remnants of the Celts? Romans? We should let our imagination run freely and try to assemble the pieces when possible.
The oldest part is the west wing, which is surrounded by the first residential premises and dates back to the 12th century. It was built on the initiative of Gerard Count of Sponheim, brother of the Count of Vianden. At the beginning of the15th century, under the leadership of the powerful house of Brandenburg, the built-up area has increased dramatically. To protect the South flank Frederick I built the huge tower of Burgundy, which also houses the prison.
A little late, in the same part of the castle, larger residential premises as well as caves, but more importantly the tower of the Witches were built in the first courtyard to ensure the defence of the fortress. In 1634, Claude de Lannoy has the luxury to replace small housing constructions and stables the northern part of the castle by spacious reception room, including the Knights’ Hall, made in a Spanish Flemish style.
A quarter century later, on the order of Albert Eugene Lannoy, administrative buildings, stables and barn enhance the first courtyard at the same time eliminating a local Church. The development of housing for a caretaker takes place in 1671, which nowadays was replaced by the coffee shop of the Old Castle. In 1721, new stable are established to the left of the tower of the Witches. In 1887, the achievements of Albert Eugene de Lannoy were destroyed and the recovered stones used for the erection of a mansion for Count Berlaymont in the park in front of the Castle.
In 1927-1930, the old castle became private property. The Ardennes offensive during the Second World War transformed it in a lamentable ruin, which was then acquired by the Luxembourg State and superbly restored.
This venerable witness to a prestigious past is now home to a the exhibition of old castles’ models, a War Museum exhibiting weapons and souvenirs from the Ardennes offensive (1944-1945) and a remarkable collection of art-documentary photographs – « The Family of Man » curated by Edward Steichen which flourished in the United States before taking house in Clervaux.
Translated in English from associationchateaux.lu
- Musée de la Bataille des Ardennes de Clervaux / Museum der Ardennenoffensive, CLERVAUX - Luxembourg
- Musée des Maquettes des Châteaux Luxembourgeois /Ausstellung der Modelle der Schlösser und Burgen Luxemburgs, CLERVAUX - Luxembourg