M ALBROUCK CASTLE
15th Century Chateau of the Moselle
The castle of Malbrouck stands impressively on the hill slope overlooking
the deep valleys of northeast Lorraine where the Moselle River forms
the border of France, Germany and Luxembourg, near Thionville, above
the little village of Manderen. The castle gets its name not from a family
or its location, but from a nickname as the headquarters of the Duke
of Marlborough, John Churchill, during the War of Spanish Succession
in June of 1705. After the defeat of the army of Louis XIV at the Battle
of Blenhein, Marlborough planned to invade France by marching along the
Moselle, but after two weeks fell back to Trier. He took the essentially
already abandoned fortress to protect the bridge head across the river.
The area was crossed by the Roman road between two of the oldest capital cities in Europe, Lyon and Trier, established in the Roman conquest of Gaul and Germania in the 1st Century. Both trade and armies traversed the path over the centuries through the valleys of the Moselle and Saar. The surrounding region features a number of sites left from the Roman period (see Roman Villa Borg). The first mention of a village which became Manderen dates from the 8th Century (Castrum Mododrom), and in the middle ages the land surrounding Malbrouck came under the control of Lords of Meinsburg (the German name for castle).
Malbrouck Castle is a post medieval fortress, built between 1419 and 1435 on the order of Arnold of Sierck (see Castle of Dukes of Lorraine). The square castle of four towers connected by high curtain walls surrounding a large central courtyard and a main building of three floors retains its original form. Malbrouck had few significant additions over its history, and its architecture reflect a junction between the Medieval and the Renaiassance period. Left a ruin from the ravages of time and plunder after 1793 the castle was made a public monument in the 1930s and rebuilt and restored between 1991 and 1999, to reopen as an exhibition center.
A museum inside Castle Malbrouck offers 500 years of history of the structure and the area, told mostly through images, artifacts and models. It is possible to climb to the battlement walks of the walls and towers with veiws over the valleys of three rivers. Medieval banquets and performances are held at the castle on a regular schedule, and art exhibitions are presented on a revolving annual offering.
Visiting Castle Malbrouck
The Castle Malbrouck (Chateau de Malbrouck) is open daily from April to December. In the spring and fall seasons, Mondays from 2pm to 5pm, Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and weekends and holidays from 10am to 6pm. In summer from June through August the castle is open until 6pm Tuesday to Friday and until 7pm on weekends and holidays. Regular admission is €7, and €5.50 reduced. The castle pretty much requires a car to get to with a large parking area. The nearest railway station is at Sierck Les Bains (7 miles). A visit to Malbrouck can be combined with a combi ticket with the castle of the Dukes of Lorraine in Sierck Les Bains for €8. © Bargain Travel Europe
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