Clervaux Castle
Luxembourg, Clervaux (town)

Clervaux Castle is located in the north of Luxembourg, on the wooded slopes of the Ardennes, in the bend of the Clerv River. The castle was erected on the Lei rock, at an altitude of 365 meters above sea level. The oldest part of the castle (West Wing), was built in 1129. The first owner of the castle was Count Gerard de Sponheim, brother of the Count of Wianden. In the following centuries, the castle belonged to the influential families of Brandenburg and Lannoy, which significantly expanded and strengthened it: two towers were built - one on the south side, which was used as a prison, and the second - the “Witch Tower” at the main gate. In the 17th century, the small living quarters and stables of the north wing were rebuilt into luxurious living rooms and a large Knights' Hall. A quarter of a century later, Albert Eugene de Lannoy expanded his utility rooms by building stables and barns in the courtyard, and in 1671 a guard house was built at the castle entrance, which today houses the Au Vieux Chateau cafe-restaurant. In 1887, the outbuildings were demolished, and the mansion of Count de Berlemont was built from their stones in the park opposite the castle. In subsequent years, Clervaux Castle changed several owners. During the Second World War, at the Battle of the Ardennes on December 17, 1944, the castle was heavily damaged. After the war, the castle became the property of the state of Luxembourg and was restored. In 1970, an exhibition of Models of ancient castles of Luxembourg took place in the western wing of the castle. The first floor of the east wing was given for the needs of the city administration. The Museum of the Battle of the Ardennes was opened in Clarevo Castle in 1974, and since 1994 the eastern wing of the castle has been occupied by the world-famous exhibition The Family of Man (Human Family) by photographer Edward Steichen, illustrating the basic aspects of human life. 503 photographs of 273 photographers from 68 countries were selected for exposure from more than two million photos. The exhibition included both the well-known works of Werner Bischoff's “Boy-flutist on the road to Peru” and Eugene Smith's “Road to Paradise”, as well as simple amateur photographs. The exhibition is a huge success. Before getting a permanent residence permit at Clairvaux Castle, it was shown in 38 countries, from 1955 to 1962 more than 9 million people visited it, and in 2002 The Family of Man was listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register.

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