You are here: Home > Englich > Schoenfels > History

Schloss Schoenfels

The hamlet of Schoenfels is first mentioned by the name of Scindalasheim in a deed of 846 as a gift by Bishop Hetto of Trier to Abbot Marcuardus of Prüm.

By 1150 a document from the Abbey of Echternach refers to it as Schonefels. There follow frequent name changes over the next centuries: Schindelzein (1156), Schindelce (13th century), Scindelce (1239), Schindeltz (1434), Schindefeltz (1498), Schindviltz (1503), Schindfels (1506), Schinveltz (1517) , Schonfels (1574) as well as Schindleech, Schindals, Schinfeltz, Bellroch and finally by 1766 Schin- resp. Schoenfeltz. The name probably derives from the word scindula (shingle) meaning manufacture(r) of shingles.

In the 12th Century a person by the name of Theodorius of Schonevels is known. In 1292, before the invention of artillery, a fortified farm (primitive castle) was erected by a certain Ferri, aka Frederic of Schoenfels. It passed by marriage to the lords of Ansembourg, and later to the Sassenheims.
In the early 16th Century, Henry Schloeder von Lachen, Lord of Schoenfels and Busbach, acquired the estate. The Schloeder von Lachen coat of arms decorates the entrance to the tower.
The feudal castle of Schoenfels -of no great strategic value- was stripped of its fortifications by the French Army in 1683.

A quarrell between Theodore of Neunheuser and the Lord of Brandenburg resulted in the castle and village being burnt down on June 22nd 1690. Ch.-Antoine Schloeder von Lachen and Th. of Neunheuser began dividing their lands in 1700.

 

By marrying Marie-Catherine of Neunheuser in 1759 Pierre-François Gaillot Genouillace became Lord of Schoenfels. His son Francis Roman Gaillot, who had married Marie-Louise Cassal in 1774, sold his Schoenfels properties on 18th August 1813 to J B Thorn-Suttor, the Governor of the Province of Luxembourg during the Belgian period (1831-1839).

Owner of the castle since 1840, the Belgian Senator Jacques Engler, passed it on to his son in law Baron Auguste Goethals who had a splendid mansion built next to the mighty tower in 1870. The family Charles Van den Poll from The Hague inherited the castle and in 1948 sold the Schoenfels property with its vast woodlands to the timber merchant Camille Weiss, who -in turn - passed the castle to the Luxembourg state on 16th March, 1971. The mansion was demolished in 1976 by the Luxembourg State.
At present the renovation of the tower is underway. The plan is to install a visitor centre as well as the offices of the Water & Forestry Administration.