Did you know that Luxembourg has its own smaller versions of Atlantis? Snorkle-up, cause you're about to dive in deep into some lesser known myths of the Grand-Duchy!

Myths and legends are a crucial part of a country's culture and Luxembourg is no exception to it! Although they might not always be as easily accessible and require some thorough internet scavenging, you might be surprised at how many stories there actually out there!

You might have already come across some myths that are rather well-known in Luxembourg, such as the myth of Melusina, but let's have a look at some more niche stories this time! Curious to know about some rude masters who had their castles sunk as a cosmic revenge?

The following myths have been found in Nicolas Gredt's collection called Sagenschatz des Luxemburger Landes published in 1883. You can also read about five lesser known myths by the author here.

The Bofferdanger Moor in Hautcharage (Uewerkäerjeng)

Not far from the outskirts of Hautcharage, a small town located in south-western Luxembourg, there is a wetland close to the communal forest called "Bofferdanger Moor". During the rainy season, the wetland is surrounded by water from which swamp reeds grow, but legend has it that during the summer, you can walk on the swamp which is covered with thick moss. But you must beware of the place where once the well of the sunken castle was supposedly located!

Legend has it that many, many years ago, a castle was located in that area, which was ruled by people who were known throughout the country for being stingy and heartless towards poor people. Every time beggars came to ask for charity, they were scared away with dogs and eventually no needy person dared to approach the castle anymore.


© P.Schiltz, Differdingen

One day an elderly beggar once wandered into the courtyard of the castle, hungry and exhausted, and he leaned on his staff and begged the ruler of the castle for charity. But to no avail, the master of the house once again set his dogs on the beggar. Luckily, a maid who witnessed the whole scene and felt pity for the beggar, called the dogs back and decided to bring part of her own savings to the man in need.

The beggar, who recognised the maid's compassionate heart, urged her to leave the castle immediately and follow him, without ever looking behind her until he stopped. After walking for a while, the old beggar stopped near two large pear trees. The girl turned back and to her surprise, the majestic castle had sunk and disappeared nearly entirely from sight. The only thing that was left to see was the chimney, protruding from the deep waters. According to some, there was a golden cradle with a small child that floated on the water for as long as eight days, after which it also sank, at the place where the castle's well was located. When the girl turned back in shock to look at her companion, the latter had also disappeared.

According to some, the girl was the only one to survive, while all the other inhabitants of the castle had found a miserable end. Other reports say that it was actually a maid and another servant who felt pity for the beggar and offered him their own midday meal. In order to reward their mercy, the beggar ordered the servant to take the best horse from the castle and the maid the best cow from the stable, and to follow him. After a few hundred metres they turned around to look back, but the only thing left of the castle were the towers which were gradually sinking into the ground.

Some even believe that the only one to have survived was the child in the golden cradle, and his descendants would go back to the same place and rebuild a castle only to become even more powerful than before.

Back then, the children of the town used to name various places where the wells of the castle were said to have been located.

The sunken castle of Holzem

According to another myth, there once was swamp called "Fockenmoor" in the town of Holzem, in the commune of Mamer, located in southwestern Luxembourg. The myth says that many years ago there was a large castle that was located where now the swamp was, but that it also sunk.

In this castle there lived a man of unusual strength, who was known to abuse people living in the whole area. Nobody was safe from him and everyone feared him. One day, the people decided to put an end to the abuse and to get rid of the man.


© Domenichino, c. 1604–05 (Palazzo Farnese, Rome)

It was said that close to the castle there was a zoo and in it you could find a unicorn. Some of the people believed that the only creature to stop the strong man was this mythical animal, so one day when the abusive lord of the castle was seen standing outside some hearty men quickly let the unicorn out of its cage.

The animal lunged at the master, who managed to flee into the nearby chapel and quickly closed and locked the door behind him. But the persistent animal took a run against the door of the chapel and got stuck to the door with its horn. The lord of the castle found himself locked up in the chapel, without the possibility to escape. In the end, he ended up starving miserably.

Soon after, his castle magically sank, and in its place you could now find a swamp area that was called "Fockenmoor".

The sunken castle between Hollerich and Leudelange

Another myth of a sunken castle takes place on the main road between Hollerich and Leudelange. According to the story, there was a place close to the village of Gasperich called "auf Berend", which was an area of several acres. There, in ancient times, you could find a castle that was known for its splendour far and wide.

The lord of that castle was known to be a tyrant who treated all of his servants very poorly. After some time, however, all of his servants decided to leave, casting dreadful curses upon their master. But the latter paid no attention to the curses of his servants and continued living without any regrets for his behaviour.


Map of the Duchy of Luxembourg in 1645.(map was cropped) / © (Theater of the World, or a New Atlas of Maps and Representations of All Regions) University of California

Once day, a terrible thunderstorm came over the region. Day turned into night, lightning continuously flashed through the sky, and thunder crashed so loudly it was as if the world was about to come to an end. When the storm had passed, the castle disappeared from the face of the earth.

It was said that at the place where the castle had once been, only a miserable wailing and groaning could be heard, coming from beneath the earth.

Morale of these myths? Don't be a rude homeowner in Luxembourg...legend has it your house is gonna get sunk otherwise...