Laurent took an early autumn tour in the spectacular settings of medieval Vianden (lux. Veianen), nestled in a steep valley on the banks of the Our river. Everyone loves Vianden and it is one of Luxembourg’s most-visited spots with its impressive castle, some nice museums, the only chairlift in Luxembourg, the Victor Hugo house (the famous French romancier lived here in 1871 during his political exile), the Trinitarian church with the cloister, the rope garden, the annual nut market…
Start the walk beneath the giant castle rock and follow the remains of the former city wall. Enjoy the sights over up- and downtown Vianden, dominated by the omnipresent castle, one of northern Europe’s largest medieval monuments, dating back to the XIth century. Below the castle, on the end of a rock promontory, stands an old watchtower, erected in 1603. Leave the town on a forest path to get back at a higher level and have another great view of the castle.
After 4 km, you reach the chairlift. Head towards the neo-gothic Bildchen chapel (1848). The chapel with its Virgin Mother statue is the destination of an annual procession in August. Stroll past the wooden picnic chalet with another gorgeous view over the Our valley, make your way down the steep slope on a vertiginous and narrow zigzag path until you arrive at the SEO buildings. The SEO (Société Electrique de l’Our) manages the biggest hydro-electric pumping installation in Europe. It consists of the artificial Our lake at the bottom of the valley, joined to two upper reservoirs situated on Mont St. Nicolas, west of Vianden. Water from the lake is pumped into the reservoirs and from there, it falls back again, boosting some machines producing electricity.
Next join the N10 road, cross the bridge over the Our river and take the path on your left. Climb the steep slope and continue through the woods. Back in Vianden, walk past the “Larei” cultural house, reach the castle again on a rocky ascent and arrive at the starting point behind the youth hostel for a well earned rest!
VIANDEN (9.52km – Auto Pedestre)
Date of the walk: October 9, 2016
Duration: 1 h 45 min
Elevation: 205-381 m
Level: moderate (6/10)
Walking ground quality: good, rocky and narrow parts