THE "VALLEY OF THE SEVEN CASTLES"
Most of the former residences of the nobility, such as the fortified Hollenfels castle or the baroque Ansembourg castle with its French garden and mythological avenue, allow us a glimpse of times gone by. Others, for example the castle ruins in Koerich, characterise the picturesque view of the site by their unchanging silhouette. Famous personalities, such as the count’s daughter Yolanda of Vianden, the French author Victor Hugo or the Belgian poet Amélie Picard, have a high regard for the idyllic Eisch valley. The Eisch valley was once a flourishing site for steel production, long before the furnaces of the Land of the Red Rocks belched out their smoke. Today nature has recaptured this abandoned area of shacks.
But if you look closely you can still discover traces from this time. For example, the numerous caves in which entire miners’ families lived. On the river banks the vegetation is partly very natural, almost primeval. Today, the Eisch- and Mamer valleys belong to the largest natural protection zone in Luxembourg. The national hiking trail of the Valley of the Seven Castles follows the intricate Eisch valley for 37 kilometres, past its most important cultural treasures. Away from the main arterial roads the region, with its peaceful country roads and forest tracks, is not only the stamping ground of hikers, but cyclists too. There are more than 200 kilometres of hiking and cycle paths available for energetic visitors. Those who would like to get to know the region better should plan a tour lasting several days, stopping off at one of the small individually-run hotels, at one of the campsites or at the youth hostel at Hollenfels. Guided hikes and information on the "Valley of the Seven Castles" can be found at www.septchateaux.lu.