The ruins of Larochette Castle (Luxembourgish: Buerg Fiels, German: Burg Fels, French: Château de Larochette) – perched on a sandstone promontory high above the rooftops of charming Larochette, Luxembourg – were a delightful surprise on a recent whirlwind trip to the tiny European duchy this past April.
Construction of the castle began in the late 11th century, making these lovely ruins nearly 1,000 years old! One of its earliest owners – Count Arnold von Fels III – took part in the Eighth Crusade against Tunis with Saint Louis (Louis IX of France) in 1270. By the end of the 14th century, Larochette Castle was owned and lived in by several noble families simultaneously, including the Homburg, Créhange, Pittingen, Fels and Fels-Reuland families. Each family resided in their own house within the castle. The Homburger House was built in 1350 after the brothers Friederich and Konrad, Lords of Homburg, married the sisters Irmgard and Mathilde of Fels. The Créhange House was built in 1385.
In 1565, Larochette Castle was destroyed by fire. Quarrels between its many heirs prevented reconstruction, and the castle fell into ruin. The State of Luxembourg acquired the property in 1979 and began restoration works. The House of Homburg was consolidated and restored in the years 1987 and 1988. The ruin of the Créhange Manor – of high architectural quality – was rebuilt between 1983 and 1987, and now houses a small museum.
Castles in Luxembourg are stunningly beautiful and lovingly maintained – well worth a detour from Luxembourg City or any of the duchy’s neighbors.
Larochette Castle is open to visitors (for a small fee) from 10am to 6pm Monday through Sunday, mid-March to Pentecost, and from early September to late October (from Pentecost until late August, the castle remains open until 7pm). An unpaved parking lot offers easy access to the castle drawbridge, and a small cafe and souvenir shop are also located on site. The majority of the ruins are stroller friendly and leashed dogs are welcome. For more information, please visit the castle’s website.
Thank you for viewing! – T. & B. June
Next week’s journey: Kingsley Plantation – Florida, USA