Thursday, April 24, 2014

Luxarazzi 101: Château de Schengen

Photo: Nikilux / Wikimedia Commons
Pretty much everyone who has ever travelled through Europe has probably heard of Schengen Area, the group of currently 26 European countries that have abolished border controls between each other. But did you know that Schengen actually is a tiny wine-making village with around 400 inhabitants on the banks of the Moselle river in south-eastern Luxembourg? The Schengen Agreement was signed in said village on board the M.S. Princesse Marie-Astrid in 1985 and that's the reason why the tiny village gave its name to such an important treaty. Why I'm telling you all of this? Schengen also has a castle and that castle is on sale.

The first château de Schengen was built in 1390 in close vicinity to the Moselle river. Built as a fortified moated castle, the château survived in its original shape for a little more than 400 years. After a number of changes in ownership, industrialist Charles Joseph Collart bought the castle in 1793. Starting in 1812, his son Jean-Nicolas had most of the castle demolished to rebuild it as a residential manor house. Only one of the towers of the original castle remains to this day. However, Jean-Nicolas Collart had much of the material of the old castle used again in the new construction. Said medieval tower was put on the list of Luxembourgish national monuments in 1986.

Sketch by Victor Hugo
The castle's most famous visitor was French writer Victor Hugo who visited the Collarts in September 1871 and made a sketch of the château using coffee grounds. In 1939, Joseph Charles "Menny" Collart sold the castle to the congregation of Saint Elizabeth who occupied the castle during the following decades. However, the last three nuns moved out of the château into a nearby monastery in 2008.

Since April 2010, the castle has been rented out by the nuns and housed a hotel. Prior to the opening of the hotel, the castle was extensively renovated. However, the Congrégation des Sœurs de Ste-Elisabeth needs money now and thus has thus decided not to extend the lease contract. The hotel will thus close at the end of August.

If you have a few thousand or million bucks lying around - the prince is only on request - I suppose you can buy the castle; if not, just admire the views of this "1ha29 property including five buildings: the Castle, its annex, a further extension, the Marcus house and the Victor Hugo tower for a total of 5.100m² built area. The hotel part has 36 rooms of various sizes, 11 conference rooms (20 to 100 people), various reception rooms, a large terrace, and a restaurant offering Luxembourgish specialties: all overlooking a large baroque garden, within a park on the Moselle river and its vine-yards. In addition to this renovated part, an additional 29 rooms can be further developped."

No comments:

Post a Comment