The ruins of the Beaufort Castle – One of the better known medieval castles in Luxembourg

Beaufort Castle (also known as Burg Befort) was built as one of the first European medieval castles in Beaufort, Luxembourg, east of the town of Diekirch. The castle was built in the 11th century and is the remnants of a medieval fortification that was once surrounded by a huge moat.

Walter von Wiltz was recognized as the first Lord of Befort in 1192. A keep was erected during the first part of the 12th century, and the gate was relocated and expanded. The addition of the keep was the Castle’s initial expansion, although it continued to grow. After Adelaide of Beaufort married William of Orley in 1348, the castle passed into the hands of The Lords of Orley, who built considerable expansions and extended the fortress significantly.

After a minor incident involving Johann von Orley-Beaufort (dubbed a “breach of trust”), Maximilian of Austria gave the castle to a nobleman named Johann Bayer von Boppard in 1477. Bernard von Velbrück, who became Lord of Beaufort via marriage and constructed the great Renaissance wing with cross-framed windows on top of the medieval walls, acquired the castle in 1539.

A reference from 1192 indicates that Wauthtier de Wiltz et Beaufort was its first Lord.Author: Teunie. CC by 3.0
The oldest part of the castle of Beaufort dates from the early 11th Century. Author:Marc Ryckaert C.C by 3.0
Around the first half of the 12th Century, a flanking tower was added and the access gate was moved and enlarged. Author: Teunie. CC by 3.0

There were many other proprietors of the medieval castle at Beaufort after Bernard von Velbrück. One of them was Gaspard de Heu, a robber knight and supporter of the insurgent Dutch. After his execution in 1593, the castle was confiscated and passed to many other nobles, including Philip II of Spain, Peter Ernst Graf von Mansfeld, Henri de Chalon, and Gaspard du Bost-Moulin, who had to sell it after it was severely damaged in the Thirty Years War, one of the most destructive wars in European history, which lasted from 1618 to 1648 and claimed approximately eight million lives in total.

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. Author: Teunie. CC by 3.0

Johann Baron von Beck, governor of Luxembourg, purchased the majority of the land in 1639 on behalf of the Spanish monarch. He began building on the Renaissance fortress in 1643, but when he died in 1648 from injuries sustained during the Battle of Lens, his son finished it in 1649.

After the second half of the 18th century, the castle had been uninhabited for a long time and was declared the castle a cultural heritage and a protected monument by the Luxembourg government. Author:Marc Ryckaert C.C by 3.0

The castle was abandoned and fell into disrepair after many changes in ownership, including Pierre de Coumont (1774) and Jean Théodore Baron de Tornaco-Vervoy (1781). The medieval castle has been occupied since the second half of the 18th century, and the residents of Beaufort even utilized it as a quarry. Beaufort Castle was given a fresh appearance in 1893 by new owners Henri Even and his son Joseph Linckels.

Following WWI, both Henri and Joseph rebuilt the medieval castle remains, extended the sheep farm, renovated existing walls, and created new roads. After Edmond Linckels died in 1975, his widow remained at the castle. Ten years later, she donated the entire estate to the State of Luxembourg, and the palace opened to the public in 1932.

In the late 18th Century, the new owner Henri Even made a restoration work on the building and in the early 19th Century, Edmond Linkels opened the medieval castle to the public. Author:Marc Ryckaert C.C by 3.0

The castle has deteriorated dramatically. The place, nevertheless, has an ethereal beauty and is designated as a Luxembourg National Monument.

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