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To the ruin of Kronenburg and the kasteel at Vianden

Home -> Europe -> Germany -> Travelogue Germany -> 25 February 2010

Thursday 25 February, to the ruin of Kronenburg and the kasteel at Vianden

Making snowmans Throwing snowballsToday we start playing outside again, at least Teije and Esmee because I do not like the cold. The snowmen are finally being finished, and they are busy for a long time because the snow does not stick as well as a few days ago. They also throw snowballs, but now mainly to me. Esmee throws them against the window, I pretend to be very frightened and then she runs away.
Snowy landscape in the Eifel region Favourite color of Esmee Favourite color of EsmeeThen we set off to view real castles from the inside. Teije has chosen two, one ruin and one that is still in good condition. But in a small town on the road we have to stop when Esmee suddenly sees a car in her favorite color, pink, and of course she has to take pictures of it!
Castle at Kronenburg, Eifel Castle at Kronenburg, EifelKronenburg is a medieval village at 560 meters altitude and almost all buildings are declared monuments. From the village a steep staircase runs under gates and along narrow streets to the castle ruins. The castle was built in the 13th century but from the 18th century on it has fallen into disuse and has since fallen into disrepair. We have to be careful on the stones that have been smoothed down over the centuries and feel slippery even without snow.
Esmee climbs forward, but she is a bit disappointed that it is a 'broken' castle, according to her it is not a real castle at all. Fortunately, we still have the 'real' castle to see.
View from Castle Kronenburg, Eifel View from Castle Kronenburg, EifelSome 460 inhabitants live in the village and especially in the summer there are more tourists than residents. We find it amazing that in so many villages and towns in Germany the medieval atmosphere has been preserved so well. In the Netherlands you also have some authentic places, but not nearly as much as here and with the differences in altitude, the places are also very scenic, like all those castles that tower from a hill above a town or village.
Castle at Kronenburg, Eifel Come on, granddad, to the next castleWalking down the slippery stairs is even more treacherous than going up and it takes a while before we are down again. At least in the village at the bottom of the castle because further on in the valley there is also a piece of Kronenburg but the high part is the most charming.
Esmee pulls Teije along because she now wants to go to the real castle where a princess can live. She is in her princess phase where she wants to wear pink princess dresses as often as possible with accompanying plastic jewelry.
The castle at ViandenIt is a long drive, but then she gets to see a beautiful castle, that of Vianden in Luxembourg, one of the most beautiful and largest in Europe from Romanesque and Gothic times. It was built between the 11th and 14th century, but there were also fortresses in earlier times, even a Roman castellum (where the word castle was derived from).
The castle at Vianden The castle at ViandenThe castle looks very impressive as it is built on the hill, a strategic place where initially the powerful counts of Vianden lived. In 1417 the castle came into the hands of the Nassau family who later (1530) became the home of Oranje Nassau. From 1820 William I starts to sell the castle piece by piece, he probably needed the money. The result is that the castle decayed to become a ruin until it became state property of Luxembourg in 1977. This is followed by an extensive restoration period in which the castle is restored to its former glory and soon becomes a tourist attraction.
Pillory in the castle of Vianden In the castle of ViandenIt is a big castle and we spend a lot of time watching everything. Esmee especially wants to know where the princess slept and lived, and she mostly finds the objects of the past like an old mirror very interesting because they could be used by a princess. She finds the pillory a bit less charming until Teije puts his head in it and tells a story about how this was a punishment where people could throw things at them, like rotten fruit and vegetables.
View from the castle of Vianden View from the castle of ViandenFrom the highest part of the castle we have a beautiful view of the surroundings and the river Our. In the neighborhood is also a chairlift that can bring you even higher but that only runs between Easter until the fall but I do not mind because I prefer to stay on the ground.
The castle at Vianden The castle at ViandenAfter this extensive visit which Esmee found satisfactory because this was a real castle (just a pity that the princess no longer lives there ...) we descend the whole way again and we drive around a bit so that we can see the castle from all sides and how big it is.
Church of the holy Cosmas and Damanius at Clervaux A princess watching tvVia Clervaux where we only view the outside of the castle and then eat something, we go back to our house where Esmee immediately put on her princesses outfit. She can now imagine what the life of a princess was but she cannot imagine living in such a castle without TV and cartoons. That is not a real princess life!


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