Châteaux et fortifications

Mont Saint-Jean Castle Dudelange

Description

Once upon a time...


Once upon a time, in a kingdom south of Luxembourg, there was a mountain, called Mont St. Jean. In the past, the local inhabitants and all the people nearby would go there to pray. It was a sacred place in the Christian faith. The original church on Mont St. Jean was dedicated to St. John the Baptist and was considered the mother of all churches for the region. The faithful would line up outside the door. From the mid-fifteenth century to the mid-sixteenth century, a commandery of the Order of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem even built their headquarters there. After this golden age, the mountain experienced other periods of splendour, but for a long time, it remained primarily a place of pilgrimage. It attracted large crowds for events such as the dancing procession of Echternach, a small town in the east of the country whose tradition is part of UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage, and the procession of Dudelange. From simple believers to sick people in search of healing, pilgrims came to pray for St. Jean’s help. The festivities ended with a hike to the top of the mountain.

The fact that we are so well informed about Mont St. Jean’s remarkable history is largely thanks to ancient writings and archaeological excavations, which have allowed us to uncover the remains of Gallo-Roman buildings. The castle wasn’t built until much later, and the ruins are still visible today. But the story doesn't end there.

Back in the Middle Ages, there was already a simple castle in Dudelange that belonged to the lords of Gymnich, but this structure was destroyed in the early fifteenth century. It was then that the construction of the castle on the mountain began. Knights, lords, princesses...the setting had all the elements of a real-life fairy tale. Research and excavations have revealed that the castle at Mont St. Jean served as an important stronghold, a place of luxury and death.

The castle may not have been home to a dragon or a wicked witch, but it was the site of plenty of violence and destruction. It eventually fell to ruin, and by the mid-sixteenth century, it was no longer a strategic stronghold. The castle’s remains were later used as construction material for neighbouring houses—who knows, perhaps these beautiful stones are now a part of your own walls? 

So, if you’d like to spend the day dreaming of princes and princesses, lords and damsels, troubadours, jesters and grand balls, climb up to the top of Dudelange. Wander among the ruins and explore the mysteries of the Middle Ages. If you listen carefully, you might hear the gentle whisper of the maiden of Mont St. Jean. Legend has it that every seven years, the poor maiden who was transformed into a snake returns to the castle to awaits her saviour...

Downloads

Opening

01.01. - 31.12.

Services

  • Visit possible
  • Guided tour
  • Guided audio tour

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