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The Castle

Castle Bourscheid, triangular in shape, is situated on a steep promontory, perched 150 metres high above the Sûre river and accessible only from the northwest.

Around the year 1000, a wooden fort was transformed into a stone-built castle. Excavations have identified structures of Roman, Merovingian, Carolingian and Ottonian origin. This initial castle, known as the upper castle, consisted of a keep, a palace and a chapel surrounded by a rampart with at least four round towers. Of this first Gothic-Romanesque building only the main tower and the wall -known today as the inner wall- remain.

The outer wall, fortified with eight towers, was completed in 1384. At the same time House Stolzembourg with its Gothic vaulted cellar was built. The great hall in the upper castle was increased to 10 metres, i.e. over 4 floors, not counting the loft. A large bakery was built with living quarters above it, underneath which a two-storey prison was dug into the rock. The gatehouse was the entrance to the upper castle and was protected by two towers.

The current yard [the bailey] was built after 1477. The main gate is protected by an outer fence, by the powerful artillery bastion flanked by four towers, and by a moat which was secured by a drawbridge. When the last Lord of Bourscheid died without descendants in 1512, his heirs set up three different living quarters in the castle; the von Metternich family in the old palace and the castle keep, the Zant of Merl family in the lower part of the upper castle and the von Ahr family in the House Stolzembourg. In 1650 the chapel was enlarged and in 1785 House Stolzembourg was completely rebuilt, this at a time when the chapel and the great palace had already partially collapsed. In 1812 the last noble owner auctioned off the castle and its associated lands.

The ruins were classified in 1936 as "historical monument" and acquired by the Luxembourg state in 1972. Since then, House Stolzembourg and the porter's lodge have been rebuilt and the towers have been re-roofed. The restoration works are ongoing. The castle's night illuminations create a fabulous atmosphere.