There is something mesmerizing about exploring castle ruins. To walk through such old stones makes you feel like an adventurer! Exploring the Brandebourg castle ruins in Luxembourg was definitely so exciting!
Let’s explore it together, shall we?
A TOUCH OF HISTORY
It is difficult to date exactly the Brandebourg castle. Excavations have shown that a wooden fort existed on the site in the 9th century. The remains of the wooden poles used to build such a fort enabled archeologists to determine that the construction included a watch tower, a living building, and a palisade.
Such a wooden fort seemed to have burned down, and 300 years later, a stone castle was slowly built.
THE BRANDENBOURG CASTLE FROM THE 10TH TO 13TH CENTURY
The keep and its immediate surroundings seem to date from the 13th century, although some sources say the 12th century. The keep is 7 meters by five and rises 12 meters high. It has three floors. And again, there is some confusion on this matter, as some sources say it had four floors. That is hard to confirm when you are there.
From a distance, the keep is impressive in size, but when you are inside, you do realize that it really is only a defensive building. Even if the stairs were probably narrower in the past, there is no possibility for livable spaces.
The surroundings of the keep and the first few buildings’ remains seem to date from the same period.
ADDITIONAL CONSTRUCTIONS FROM THE 14TH AND 15TH CENTURIES
You can admire from the keep an additional rectangular tower that dates from the 14th century. It is wider than the keep and includes a chapel on the first floor.
Further enlargements of the castle occurred in the 15th century.
Amazing vaulted cellars were carved out on the southern and eastern slopes. In addition, the barnyard located to the north of the keep was fortified.
The most important medieval additions are the three semi-circular towers and curtain wall in the south.
And around 1500, the massive artillery tower located north, just by the entrance, was added. The faussebraye, flanked by four semi-circular towers, also dates from this period, when the entrance was strengthened and the main ditch widened.
SLOWLY FALLING INTO RUINS
It doesn’t seem that further important additions were made after that, and from the 18th century on, the Brandebourg castle was no longer maintained. It slowly fell into ruin.
In 1936, some basic consolidation works were conducted by the Luxembourg State. Maybe not the best work, as was often the case during this period.
Since the 1980s, the Brandenbourg castle has seen new interest from archeologists and tourists, and further works have been done.
The Brandenbourg castle will most likely never regain its former glory, but it holds in its wall so much history that, despite being in ruin, it is as charming and mysterious as it can be.
THE INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE CASTLE
Despite having visited quite a few castles, to say the least, there is always something that puzzles me when visiting a new one. Or at least intrigue me.
It wasn’t any different with the Brandenburg castle.
THE CELLARS DEPTH
The path inside the castle is kind of like a spiral, taking you to the central keep. One of the first things I explored were the south cellars. The vaulted ceilings in such cellars are astonishing! The size of the rooms above is so tiny, you wonder what these could have been.
And there are several little stairs, including the ones taking you way down below, where you can see the depth of the castle as if you were reaching the inside of a dragon. I know, that’s silly! But that’s how I felt when I saw the opening way down below. There are so many secrets, so much unknown and maybe danger…
The path then leads you to a series of rooms that surround the keep. The remaining walls are probably just knee high, but one room was particularly surprising to me: the one that looked like a fortified well.
One would often imagine a well located in the bay, accessible to all. But in fortresses, wells were often heavily protected, as water was obviously of the utmost importance during a siege.
I may be totally wrong here, but as you can see in the picture, it does look like a well, and I found it extremely interesting.
I’ve mentioned this above, but the list is very narrow. There doesn’t seem to be any livable space. If there was, it must have been extremely uncomfortable.
And the reason I found it fascinating is that this really shows how different castles can be. Some grew from a house, fortified, and extended over time. Some were always first and foremost ‘war-oriented’. Not necessary, purely a fortress, but certainly not just a residence.
The second tower, constructed in the 14th century, apparently had a chapel on the first floor. Considering what remains of the tower, it’s hard to tell how many floors there were, but it was surprising to me to read that the chapel was inside such a tower, on the first floor.
In most castles, the chapel is either in a separate building or in an oriel window of some sort. The reason is that no man should live above God.
So how could the chapel be located on the first floor? That will remain a mystery to me! If you have an answer, do email me!
Exploring the Brandebourg castle ruins was fascinating to me! The only regret I have is that spring has not yet fully arrived in the north of Luxembourg! It was all green in the south, but 50 km up north? Nope! It’s quite amazing how such a short distance can make such a huge difference.