Photo: Roll Schleich
Bringing history to life TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: GR-INK
Visitors to Beaufort in Luxembourg’s romantic Haupeschbach Valley can immerse themselves in two distinct periods of history by experiencing its twin castles. The medieval building broods with martial austerity, a ruin that sends the imagination racing back almost a thousand years to when its defensive walls were begun; its Renaissance counterpart, still furnished and decorated for habitation, exudes elegance and civilisation, art and comfort. Beaufort’s contrasting castles sit together as an illustration of changing times and changing priorities. Jacqueline Kuijpers has lived in the Renaissance building for more than 30 78 | Issue 51 | March 2018
years, stretching back to the time when the last chatelaine, Annemarie LinckelsVolmer, resided in its opulent surroundings. She has worked in both châteaux over that time, so has plenty of suggestions as to what must be seen on a visit: “For the first-time visitor, what really stands out in the medieval castle are the imposing structural elements – the various towers, the well, the spiral staircases, prison, the guardrooms… and people are captivated by the torture chamber, which still contains various torture devices!
Making trips memorable “Actually it’s far from certain the castle ever had such a chamber in reality,” she admits, “but the last owner put it together to educate and fascinate visitors.” Making
sure that visitors enjoy a memorable trip is something still central to the thinking of the two organisations overseeing the use and maintenance of the castles, Les Amis des Châteaux de Beaufort, and the Service des Sites et Monuments Nationaux, with events and activities at the site that help make the most of it. “As regards the Renaissance building,” Jacqueline continues, “it’s the overall experience of seeing a castle in a totally liveable state, complete with all its furniture and decoration, a home in the grandest style, that people find most striking.” To complete the picture of a grand residence there are stables and a fine rose garden, along with another extensive garden that once was part of its magnificent park.
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.