If you go to Europe, check out the ruins of the Beaufort Castle – one of the better known medieval castles in Luxembourg

Paul Pinkerton
 

Located in Beaufort in eastern Luxembourg, Beaufort Castle (locally also known as Burg Befort) was erected as one of the first European medieval castles.

 

The castle dates from the 11th century and stands as the ruins of a medieval fortress which were originally protected by a large moat.

A reference from 1192 indicates that Wauthtier de Wiltz et Beaufort was its first lord. Source

A reference from 1192 indicates that Wauthtier de Wiltz et Beaufort was its first lord. Source

In 1192, Walter von Wiltz was mentioned as the first Lord of Befort. During the first half of the 12th century, a keep was added and the gate was moved and enlarged. In 1348, the castle came into the hands of The Lords of Orley, who made significant extensions  and enlarged the castle considerably.

The oldest part of the castle of Beaufort dates from the early 11th Century. Source

The oldest part of the castle of Beaufort dates from the early 11th Century. Source

In 1477, Maximilian of Austria transferred the castle to Johann Bayer von Boppard after Johann von Orley-Beaufort committed a breach in trust. In 1539, Bernard von Velbrück became Lord of Beaufort through marriage and added the large Renaissance wing with cross-framed windows on top of the medieval walls.

Around the first half of the 12th Century, a flanking tower was added and the access gate was moved and enlarged. Source

Around the first half of the 12th Century, a flanking tower was added and the access gate was moved and enlarged. Source

After Bernard von Velbrück, there were a lot of different owners of the medieval castle in Beaufort like Gaspard de Heu, Philip II of Spain, Peter Ernst Graf von Mansfeld, Henri de Chalon, Gaspard du Bost-Moulin, who had to sell it after being ruined by the Thirty Years War.

Acting on behalf of the Spanish king, Johann Baron von Beck, governor of Luxembourg, bought most of the property in 1639. He initiated the construction of the Renaissance castle in 1643 but after he died of injuries from the Battle of Lens in 1648, the work was completed by his son in 1649.

A very contested residence over the years, the ownership of the castle changed hands often until it was abandoned and left to fall into disrepair. Source

A very contested residence over the years, the ownership of the castle changed hands often until it was abandoned and left to fall into disrepair. Source

After various changes in ownership including Pierre de Coumont (1774) and Jean Théodore Baron de Tornaco-Vervoy (1781), the castle was abandoned, fell into disrepair. From the second part of the 18th century, the medieval castle is inhabited and used by the habitants of Beaufort as a quarry.

In 1850, the castle was proclaimed a protected monument by the Luxembourg government. Source

In 1850, the castle was proclaimed a protected monument by the Luxembourg government. Source

Since 1981 the castle and the chateau are owned by the Luxembourg state. Source

Since 1981 the castle and the chateau are owned by the Luxembourg state. Source

In 1850 the Luxembourg government declared the castle a cultural heritage. The castle has suffered a startling degradation, however, there is a certain ethereal beauty to the site, and it is recognized as a National Monument of Luxembourg. From 1932, the castle was open to the public.

 
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