Guide to Luxembourg: the small Grand Duchy in the heart of Europe
It is easy to overlook the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg when planning a trip to Europe. After all, one could say, it is a small country squeezed between France, Germany And Belgium. Why should I go there? And what could I possibly find interesting when browsing through a Luxembourg travel guide? Yep, the answer will probably be many banking institutions and the buildings of the bureaucrats ofEuropean Union. Yet this is not the case. Or better: not only. That this small town, precisely because it is located at the crossroads of so many streets and so many stories, deserves more attention: and it is worth stopping to discover, behind the apparent veil formed by glass offices and impersonal buildings, a land with its own charm made of medieval memoriesfortresses, woods and castles And picturesque villages. A Luxembourg guide can only start from the measures: the whole country is wide only 85 km and 52 km long but in this small area there are many different souls and many different areas.
Guide to Luxembourg: a small and ancient land
There Ardennes regionfor example, it is hilly, covered with forests dotted with medieval castles as well as being infamous for the fierce battles that were fought here during the Second World War. The area known as the Little Switzerland is ideal for those who love to walk and immerse themselves in nature on foot, a small region of rocky outcrops, cliffs, waterfalls and forests, crossed by paths that are a paradise for hikers and who loves the mountain biking. On the southeastern border with the Germanyinstead, there is the Moselle valley which curiously enjoys a microclimate unique. The result is that one of the youngest was born here wine-growing districts of Europe which however soon became known for the production of fine whites and sparkling wines. And all this without taking into account the capital, Luxembourg Citywho lives with a double personality: while almost everywhere in the historic center you can breathe the charm of the past with its elegant buildings, squares, imposing churches and cobblestone streets, in the district Kirchberg you take a leap into modernity with modern buildings, ubiquitous offices and shopping centers. In short, the Luxembourg guide will have several surprises in store for you. Let’s go and find out.
A Guide to Luxembourg: History
If Luxembourg is still in its place in the heart of Europe it owes it to a mixture of luck and of excellent diplomacy which allowed it to resist without being absorbed into the territories of its larger neighbors, despite its strategic position. L‘independence arrived in 1867 and its people have always learned to look beyond their narrow borders: the result is that the country has a cosmopolitan attitude as evidenced by the fact that the Grand Duchy is the country with the highest percentage of foreigners of any state of the EU but also from the fact that the inhabitants, in general, at least speak three languages. Now the country lives under the leadership of one constitutional monarchy and since 2011 an absolute primogeniture system allows female descendants to enter the line of succession by right. Luxembourg was one of the founding members of the European Community (also thanks to the previous close economic ties with the Netherlands and the Belgium) and hosted the European Parliament until his transfer to Brussels and Strasbourg. However, the headquarters of the Secretariat of the European Parliament but one does not deny one’s own history; indeed, the town’s motto is “We want to remain what we are“. And so all that remains is to find out what it is.
Our Luxembourg guide reminds you that the best time to visit the country is there warmer season which runs from May to September. In winter it is not uncommon for snow to fall, especially in the region of Ardennes where the climate is often colder and more humid. Autumn can be a good time to visit the northern part of the small town because the spectacle of the foliage it is very suggestive and it is a real pleasure to stop in the small country hotels with their warm atmosphere and the lit fireplace to experience the seasonal menus characterized by a wide choice of local game.
Guide to Luxembourg: the capital
In the early morning fog City of Luxembourg recalls the backdrop of an ancient fairy tale, full of towers and turrets. The historic center of the city, which has been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sitetraces its origin back to the 10th century when SiegfriedCount of the Ardennes, had a castle built on a rock above the Alzette river. The fortress was baptized Lucilinburhuc and over the centuries the castle and its surroundings were reinforced with numerous additional fortifications, walls and towers until it became known as the North Gibraltar. Today the various sections that formed the fortress are the main tourist attractions of the city. There are also some other interesting places in the old town including several museums.
Modern Luxembourg on the other hand Plateau du Krichbergis more focused and focused on business and money than pleasure, so much so that what you notice is great international financial center with numerous modern office complexes and many bank offices. All flanked by the buildings of numerous institutions of the European Union. The European Council of Ministers holds its own sessions in the city for three months each year, and the European Court of Justice it holds its meetings here. Although tourists come to the city to enjoy the medieval charm and the scent of history, financial prestige attracts business people and the modernity of the place ensures that there are good restaurants and lots of quality hotels.
Our Luxembourg guide points out among the things to see in the city the National Museum of History and Art. The museum is located in the historic area of Fish Market (the heart of the historic center) and exhibits art objects, archaeological finds, furniture, tools, coins, weapons and documents concerning the history of the country in a new modern building. There is particular attention to the Gallo-Roman period and to that of local history that goes from the 16th to the 20th century. Fans of modern art must visit the Mudam of Luxembourgor the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, which houses collections of world famous artists but is also worth a visit Contemporary Art Gallery. For those who want to rediscover history, they must aim for the sheer wall where the barracks and fortifications of the city are located. It is a network of 21 kilometers of tunnels carved into the rock that can accommodate thousands of defenders as well as equipment, workshops, kitchens and even stables for horses. This barracks covers an impressive area of over 40,000 square meters and today most of these fortifications can be explored on foot. On the plateau are the remains of the old castle, discovered in 1963, and you can enjoy splendid views over the district of Grund come on Rham Plateau.
Continuing to scroll through the Luxembourg guide you will arrive at another panoramic point, the spectacular walls of the Corniche of Luxembourg City which have been called “the most beautiful balcony in Europe” as they dominate the old town and the valley of the river below. It is here that you enter through the large gate to the suburb of Grund which dates back to the mid-1600s. Beyond the ramparts there are several aristocratic houses and historic buildings such as the ancient Dominican convent and the church of San Michele. Around here you can also see the church and the ancient one Neumünster abbey and what remains of the ancient Hospice St.-Jean, founded by Emperor Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg, in 1309.
Luxembourg guide: the medieval villages where to stroll
The most popular destination outside the capital is the medieval northeastern village of Vianden with its cobbled streets and castle on the hill. It is an extremely picturesque town straddling the two banks of the Our river. Its origins date back to the 9th century and it is unrivaled in the area even for the architectural beauties. The first thing that strikes and you notice are the walls that surround the city, with the looming watchtowers. Among other things that must be mentioned in the Luxembourg guide are the parish church, with two naves built in the Gothic style in 1248 and the former cloister which houses a small museum. Among the curiosities here is the house where he lived Victor Hugo during his exile in 1871 and which today houses a collection of mementos and objects that belonged to the great writer. For those who want to walk from the village, there is a vast network of well-kept and signposted paths and there is also a chairlift that goes up a nearby hill to enjoy the views of the area.
Another country that deserves to be visited is Beaufort which is located on a plateau in the region of Mullerthal. The village is well known for its impressive 12th century castle, as well as a nearby neo-Gothic church. Although much of the castle is uninhabitable, it is still very exciting to visit it to discover its most hidden corners. A number of trails lead through the wooded hills with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and up to beautiful rock formations of the Hallerbach he was born in Saueracht.
We therefore conclude our Luxembourg guide by talking about the country of Bourscheid which rises on a plateau bordered by rivers Sûre And Wark. This is the right place to start numerous walks to the other pleasant villages in the surroundings including Michelau in the Sûre valley, Welscheid in the Wark Valley, e Kehmen on the plateau. For those who want to sunbathe and swim there are also two beaches on the river a Bourscheid-Plage And Dirbach. This region of the Ardennes is dominated by the remains of the fairytale Bourscheid castlewhich looks down from a rocky peak 137 meters above the river Sauer. Dating back to the 10th century, the castle has been largely restored and is now accessible to visitors with guided tours. At night then stop to look at the silhouette of the illuminated castle. You will think you have ended up in the middle of a fairytale. A little bit what we always end up thinking when we go to the discovery of this small town. In the heart ofEurope today and with roots in the past.