Hollenfels Castle, with a history dating back to the 11th century, is located on the south side of Hollenfels village in the valley of the River Eisch, which is also known as the Valley of the Seven Castles in central Luxembourg. The castle consists of a keep, an angular tower, a curtain wall and a main residential building. It can be reached by a brick bridge leading over the defensive ditch. A path with steep steps and wooden bridges leads to the foot of the castle where hollows in the rock can be seen, explaining the origin of the castle's name which literally means "hollow cliff".
Hollenfels Castle was mentioned for the first time in 1129. In the 13th century Ludolf, Knight and Lord of Hollenfels and his wife Sara received the water rights of the nearby Mariënthal Abbey, which lies just a quarter mile away. The majestic tower, 128 feet tall, with its sumptuous gothic rooms reached by means of a spiral staircase, was built in 1380.
Until 1477, the possession of Hollenfels castle was shared by the noble families Hollenfeld and Elter. It then successively became the property of Raville of Ansembourg, Greiffenklau, Raugraves of Salm, von Thinner, von Hohenstein and Brouckhoven-Hohenstein.
In the 1680s, the castle was captured by the French, taken back by the Spaniards and finally recaptured by the French. In 1691 the castle of Hollenfels was owned by J.B. de Brias. In 1729 he ordered the construction of the villa against the north-east side of the keep. In 1818 the castle was bought by J.B. Thorn-Suttor, who was the Governor of Luxembourg during the Belgian period (1831-1839). In 1840 he sold the castle to J. Engler, a senator from Brussels. Later, Baron A. Goethals passed it to his son-in-law.
In 1929, when the castle was falling into ruin, restoration work was carried out by the Luxembourg architect J. Schoenberg. Between 1945 and 1948, the castle was used as a camp for prisoners of war. In 1948, the Luxembourg State acquired the building and created Hollenfels Youth Hostel.
Today the castle houses state facilities directed towards improving youth education. Open year round, the services allow young people to experience the historic building while coming in close contact with nature.