Historical Heritage

Vianden  ©ORT

The castle of Vianden

The imposing home of the counts, was not only a medieval fortress in which comfort was sacrificed to defensive demands, but also a real palace (Henri-Paul Eydoux).

In Carolingian times, the castle was originally a decagonal tower, later transformed into a chapel. This chapel, the " Little Palace" and the "Great Palace" - the most beautiful parts of the castle - were erected in the first half of the 13th century. The Juliers Quarter, on the west side of the Great Palace, dates from the beginning of the 14th century, whereas the Nassau Quarter was only built at the beginning of the 17th century.

The castle was defended by strong fortifications, by gates and towers, of which notable examples are the " White Tower" on the northwest side, and the " Black Tower" on the northeast side.

You entered the castle through five gates, the first of which had a drawbridge and the fifth a descending grid. After this gate, you could enter the Little Palace by way of a staircase and a portal.

The Little Palace has on its ground-floor, a vaulted hall, divided into two rooms: the Captain's Hall, which is 5.90 m long, and the Armoury, which is 21 m long. The keystones are decorated with emblems of Vianden and Nassau. In the Byzantine Hall upstairs, there are some beautiful trefoil windows.

The Great Palace, on the right side of the Little Palace, is the largest part of the castle. The Knights' Hall, which covers the whole of the ground floor, is 30.30 m long and 9.60 m wide. The big cellar underneath, carved in rock, has the same dimensions.

The Chapel, the most remarkable part of the castle, is a double oratory, consisting of two separate floors, which communicate by an opening in the middle. This enabled the people of the town at participate in the religious ceremonies of the nobles, who sat above them. The count himself sat even higher up in a small balcony by him. Whereas the lower chapel is built in the Romanesque style, the upper chapel has the lightness and the radiance of the later Rhenish transition style.

More information about the Castle of Vianden: www.castle-vianden.lu

Les Amis du Château de Vianden asbl
B.P. 21
L-9401 Vianden
Tel: (+352) 83 41 08-1
Fax: (+352) 84 92 84

Victor Hugo House

Victor Hugo the famous French poet, came four times to Vianden. In August 1862 on a journey through the Ardennes, Hugo was delighted by the imposing scenery of Vianden. He returned to Vianden in 1863 and was warmly welcomed by the local philharmonic society. After a short stay in 1865, Hugo, having been expelled from Belgium on 30th May 1871, found a refuge at Vianden. While his family and attendants put up at the Hotel Koch - an inn rather than a hotel- V. Hugo took up his residence on the first floor of the neighbouring house, next to the bridge. Here the poet wrote part of the "Annee Terrible". From his window he saw the majestic outline of the castle and he watched the busy activity of Vianden's inhabitants. "Vianden, he wrote, embedded in a splendid landscape, will be visited one day by tourists from the whole of Europe, attracted both by its sinister but magnificent ruin and by its cheerful and happy people."

On 14th July 1871 V. Hugo took charge of the operations to extinguish a fire, which had set the thatched roofs of some ten downtown houses ablaze. The mayor being absent, the poet organized a line of fire buckets down to the river and actively joined the firemen for more than an hour and a half during the night.

At Vianden, V. Hugo fell in love with a young eighteen-year-old woman, Marie Mercier, who had been the companion of the locksmith Maurice Garreau, the head of the Mazas jail during the Commune.

V. Hugo's house at the bridge was arranged into the Victor Hugo Museum in 1935 "restore 2002". Manuscript letters of the poet's, his furniture and personal documents as well as reproductions of his drawings sketched during his stay are shown. Rodin's famous bust of v. Hugo, a present of the French Senate, stands on the breastwork of the bridge.

More informations:

Musée littéraire Victor Hugo
37, rue de la Gare
L-9420 Vianden
Tel.: (+352) 26 87 40 88
Fax: (+352) 26 87 40 99
Web-Site : www.victor-hugo.lu

Musée © Musée Victor Hugo
Dicksgärtchen Vianden 02

Edmond de la Fontaine

Above the Church of the Trinitarians, the Dicks Monument commemorates our national poet Edmond de la Fontaine (1823-1891), who died at Vianden, where he had been conciliation magistrate from 1881 to 1891. He was the author of the first Luxemburg’s comedies and won a considerable fame under the pen-name ''Dicks". A tablet fixed to the poet's home above the Cross of Justice honours the poet's memory. In the ''Dicks House" you may see to-day the bakery museum.



The Trinitarians built THE TRINITARIAN CHURCH with its two naves and its splendid Gothic vaults in 1248; they had been summoned to Vianden by Count Henry I, whose father had been freed from Saracen captivity by Trinitarians during the Crusades. The Trinitarian Church was consecrated in 1252.

Above the entrance-portal of the church there is a very beautiful statue representing the Virgin Mary and the Child; it dates from the 14th century and bears marks of the art of Lorraine. The Trinitarian church was restored after a great fire in 1498. The maintenance of the left nave was a duty that fell on the parishioners, whereas the right nave was looked after by the monks, who had an asymmetrical church-choir, built in the right nave; the construction of this choir had unfortunately not been financed by the bourgeoisie.

The altar of the Blessed Sacrament, built in Renaissance style and situated on the left side of the church, was made in the workshop of the famous artist Ruprecht Hoffmann of Trier in the 15th century. The main altar, built in the Rococo Style and situated on the right in the choir, was built about 1758 by the Vianden artists Daleyden and Goldschmit; the statue of God the Father is the work of the Vianden sculptor Andre Fischer. The dorsal of the 16 stalls in the choir are omitted by wind and string instruments as well as sculpted membranes revealing foliated scrolls. The rood screen and the organ were installed in 1693 and the chair of truth was brought over from the Cathedral of Luxembourg.

Since 1988 diggings have discovered numerous tombs under the church. The floor was lowered almost half a meter to restore the original proportions of the gothic church.


There is a service in the Trinitarian church every Sunday at 10:30.