Valley of the Seven Castles Tour - 27 km
Duration: 7 stage(s)
Exploring a thousand years of Luxembourg‘s history at one go: A ride through the Valley of Seven Castles enables visitors to experience Guttland, a region of the Grand-Duchy with one of the highest densities of medieval architecture in Europe, through a different lens. A new scenic drive combines all of seven manors in one journey, starting in Koerich or in Mersch. As a regional hub, the latter offers a wide variety of provisions for the day, so don‘t forget to stock up on food and drinks for a nice picnic along the route. The first human settlements in the region can be traced back to the Gallo-Roman period. But it wasn‘t until Theodoric I. purchased the town in 1232, that the first fortifications began to take shape. Those efforts resulted in the picturesque castle complex which has been dominating the cityscape up to our days. Today, the 13th century manor houses the town hall, whereas the renovated chapel has become the new home of both the castle museum and an information booth.
Spanning over 25 kilometers, the scenic drive links Mersch to Koerich with its newly renovated 12th century castle. En route you‘ll experience idyllic woods and quaint little villages driving from one castle to the next. Take your time to explore the sights on your own pace, as for instance the 13th century keep of Castle Schoenfels with its English gardens, Castle Hollenfels with its 11th century
origins or the historic gardens of Manor Ansembourg, which dates back to the 17th century. The old Castle Ansembourg and Castle Septfontaines are both privately owned and cannot be visited. Strategically placed lookouts all but make up for this by offering breath taking views from both castles.
Discover the Valley of the Seven Castles by car and through different view points (see map).
Stage 1 - Mersch
Located in the centre of Mersch, the history of the castle goes back to the 13th century. During the centuries the castle had to withstand multiple attacks and damages. After a large-scale renovation, the castle now houses the administrative office of the municipality.
Castle dating back to the 13th century | Mersch - Schoenfels: 3,8 km
Stage 2 - Schoenfels
The 17 by 13 metre tower and 21 metres in height is the most impressive inhabited defence tower of the region. The origins of the castle probably date back to the 13th century. The donjon was transformed several times over the centuries. In the 19th century, its appearance was modified in the neo-gothic style. The windows were widened and mansards were added.
Defence tower from 13th century | Schoenfels - Ansembourg: 5,8 km
Stage 3 - Ansembourg
The castle was built between 1639 and 1647 by the pioneer of the iron industry, Thomas Bidart. The castle underwent significant changes in the 18th century, when the heirs of Thomas Bidart were first elevated to the rank of barons and then to the rank of counts. The castle itself is since 1987 property of the Japanese religious community Sukyo Mahikari and not open to the public.
The terraced gardens comprise a variety of plant species, fruit trees and grand fountains, but also a collection of sculptures, such as the so-called “mythological alley”, which assembles 10 sculptures of Greek and Roman mythological characters. The gardens are open to the public.
Ansembourg - Hollenfels: 1,5 km
Stage 4 - Hollenfels
The donjon of the Hollenfels Castle is 39 metres high and overlooks the narrow Eisch Valley, offering impressive views. The castle was first mentioned in the 11th century. It repeatedly changed hands over the centuries. Today the historic walls house a youth centre.
Castle 11th century | Hollenfels - Ansembourg (old castle) : 2,7 km
Stage 5 - Ansembourg
Castle dating back to the 12th century. The castle is in a strictly private property owned by Count of Ansembourg and is not open to visitors. Only available access is with a reservation on Airbnb or Temps d’Or Hotel.
Castle from the 12th century | Ansembourg (old castle) - Septfontaines: 7,6 km
Stage 6 - Septfontaines
Castle dating back to the 12th century. Privately owned today.
Castle 12th century | Septfontaines - Koerich: 5,7 km
Stage 7 - Koerich
The newly renovated castle of Koerich "Gréiveschlass" is a typical example of our lowland castles. With its impressive tower and its exterior walls arranged in an almost perfect square, it forms a remarkable unit with Koerich's baroque church and old houses.
It is accessible for people with disabilities. Numerous cultural events are offered during the entire year.
Lowland castle 12th century