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A beautiful view of a town and a magnificently preserved and restored castle exist in a very small country which is situated within the borders of Belgium. Luxembourg offers two distinct geographical regions by the marked difference in climate. The north country, Oesling is predominately cold and harsh but it attracts many visitors and the southern portion, Gutland, mild weather prevails and is mostly farmland.
The Sure Valley stretches from Hockfels to Erpeldange with the Sure River winding around sharply into the Oesling Uplands and enclosing Esch-sur-Sure’s pretty and small village of slate-roofed houses. From the castle which sits 150 meters high on a forested headland you can look out over this breathtakingly beautiful village surrounded by the Sure River. The castle, however, is only accessible from the northwest. Ettelbruck is the closest town which is south.
Bourscheid is a 10th century castle and replaced an earlier wooden defensive structure, of course. The square keep, chapel and palace which contains a great hall were enclosed by a concentric wall with four towers. Work on the outer wall which has eight towers began circa 1350 and was completed by 1384 along with the Stolzemburger residential building. The gateway went up after 1477 before which only a ditch and four towers protected the upper and lower castle. Stone slab palisades encircle the outermost portion which protected the exterior gate.
The Lord of Bourscheid died in 1512 and the castle started to dilapidate after that time but heirs to the castle made three separate dwellings for themselves on the castle grounds. The Metternich family took possession of the old palace and keep, the Zant von Merls the lower part of the lower castle and the Ahr family made their home in Stolzemburger House. After 1650 only bailiffs lived in the castle and they, of course, enlarged the chapel. The most recent restoration in 1785 included totally rebuilding the Stolzemburger House after which the old palace and chapel fell into bad ruin. When French revolutionary troops invaded Luxembourg by 1794/5 the castle was most likely abandoned since this primarily medieval structure would have been considered to be a part of a feudal state.
In 1936 the ruins of Bourscheid were declared an historical monument and the state of Luxembourg took it over by 1972 and opened it up to the public. Restoration has continued since then and the Stolzemburger House is used for local cultural events. The gatekeeper’s house was converted to a small museum which helps visitors trace the history of the castle and the Lords of Bourscheid.
En francais : http://www.bourscheid.lu/article-fr-2-0-1.html
Tres cool site web interactif. Bouger ta souris sur le chateau !