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THE COUNTS OF WILTZ

The lords and counts of Wiltz are one of the oldest families in the country. Their lineage can be traced back to Walter Ist in the 12th Century and ends in the 18th Century with Theodore Francis de Paule de Custine de Wiltz, ruling no less than 21 generations. The lords of Beaufort and Meysemburg are among the noble families descended from the house of Wiltz.

At first they were merely titled “bailiff of Arlon”, the name “of Wiltz” occurs later. The oldest seal of Wiltz dates back to 1256 and adorns a document which was written under Walter III and is preserved to this day in Koblenz. In 1240 Wiltz received its first Letter of Freedom, renewed on 22 October 1437 by Godart IV. The colours of the Wiltz coat of arms are gold and red. The first Count of Wiltz, John VI (aka Jan), who governed from 1607 to 1648, was the most popular of all the rulers of Wiltz. He was made a Count on 31. May 1629 by the King of Spain.

Today you can admire him on the castle's witch tower, his statue's a weather vane. John VI did not have children of his own and therefore upon his death in 1648 the line of the Counts of Wiltz passed into the hands of his niece Marie Marguerite who married Christophe de Custine, Baron of Auflance, on 4 March 1656.

The new coat of arms is divided into quarters, the first and fourth quarters were gold and red to represent Wiltz and the second and third quarters were black and silver lilies representing Lombut. In the middle was a block of silver crossed by a black diagonal stripe and surrounded by two narrow sand coloured stripes representing Custine. The last Count of Wiltz, Theodore Francis Paule Custine de Wiltz left town in 1793, fleeing the French Republican troops. He died in Bamberg on October 26, 1799.



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