Wollefsschlucht (Wolf Gorge) – Echternach, Luxembourg - Atlas Obscura

Wollefsschlucht (Wolf Gorge)

In the heart of Luxembourg's "little Switzerland" weaves a breathtaking natural sandstone canyon with a mythological past. 

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For those who enjoy spectacular nature mixed with local lore, Luxembourg’s natural wonder, Wolf Gorge, is a perfect combination. Also known as Wollefsschlucht (Luxembourgish) and Gorges du Loup (French), this natural sandstone canyon was initially shaped by geological shifts and then carved and shaped over centuries by weather effects.

With its awe-inspiring sandstone formations and dramatic views, it’s no wonder Wollefsschlucht has inspired local legends. It is said that the gorge is guarded by a black wolf—the cursed form of a count who bartered his soul to the devil in exchange for riches. Unfortunately, the Count’s insatiable greed eventually drove even the devil to curse him into wolf form. Some say the haunted Count hid his wealth among the numerous small caves in Wollefsschlucht where his cursed wolf form now keeps watch over it.

For those who like happier endings, there is another legend saying that if an innocent child places a rosary into the right crevice in Wollefsschlucht, this will release the Count from his curse and reveal his treasure to them. So, the author advises visitors to carry a rosary with them and watch for especially remarkable caves to place it in, just in case.

Before it became home to a cursed Count, the gorge was known as the Devil’s Loophole, or Däiwelsschoart in the Echternach dialect of Luxembourgish. At one end of the gorge rises a rock formation dubbed the Needle of Cleopatra for its resemblance to an Egyptian obelisk.

Know Before You Go

Visitors can enter the gorge from either end to traverse the ancient stone steps that assist with the many ups and downs of the canyon. Keep an eye out for steep stairs ascending on either side of the trail to the plateau above. These lead to fantastic views of the canyon and local area. As the gorge is located in the forest away from the road, it requires some hiking to visit and can be reached by following Route 2 of the Mullerthal Trail system or local hiking trail E1.

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May 16, 2023

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