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Syndicat d'initiative Vianden
Indian Forest

Victor Hugo House

Victor Hugo the famous French poet, came four times to Vianden. In August 1862 on a journey through the Ardennes, Hugo was delighted by the imposing scenery of Vianden. He returned to Vianden in 1863 and was warmly welcomed by the local philharmonic society. After a short stay in 1865, Hugo, having been expelled from Belgium on 30th May 1871, found a refuge at Vianden. While his family and attendants put up at the Hotel Koch - an inn rather than a hotel- V. Hugo took up his residence on the first floor of the neighbouring house, next to the bridge. Here the poet wrote part of the "Annee Terrible". From his window he saw the majestic outline of the castle and he watched the busy activity of Vianden's inhabitants. "Vianden, he wrote, embedded in a splendid landscape, will be visited one day by tourists from the whole of Europe, attracted both by its sinister but magnificent ruin and by its cheerful and happy people."

On 14th July 1871 V. Hugo took charge of the operations to extinguish a fire, which had set the thatched roofs of some ten downtown houses ablaze. The mayor being absent, the poet organized a line of fire buckets down to the river and actively joined the firemen for more than an hour and a half during the night.

At Vianden, V. Hugo fell in love with a young eighteen-year-old woman, Marie Mercier, who had been the companion of the locksmith Maurice Garreau, the head of the Mazas jail during the Commune. At Vianden V. Hugo had his first tooth extracted on 11th August 1871.

V. Hugo's house at the bridge was arranged into the Victor Hugo Museum in 1935 "restore 2002". Manuscript letters of the poet's, his furniture and personal documents as well as reproductions of his drawings sketched during his stay are shown. Rodin's famous bust of v. Hugo, a present of the French Senate, stands on the breastwork of the bridge.

More informations:

Musée littéraire Victor Hugo
37, rue de la Gare
L-9420 Vianden
Tel.: (+352) 26 87 40 88
Fax: (+352) 26 87 40 99