Walking around, Luxembourg
...but you will have to search for them.
Luxembourg's buildings mainly date from the late 1600s/1700s. By 'older bits' I mean before that time. Luxembourg most certainly existed then, but there is very little to show for it.
One of the most atmospheric parts I came across was a little street near the Bock in Vielle Ville, Rue de la Loge. There's a very old building there...you can tell from the early-Medieval windows on the Rue de l'Eau side. And, if you walk a little further up Rue de la Loge, you can take the Passage du Palais up through a restored but still very evocative passageway, with a well and ancient exposed beams, to emerge onto the Rue du Rost.
I spotted one or two ancient bits of stonework too: a rather Romanesque lion and a very worn carved deer which was obviously once part of a more detailed, and important, decorative sculpture. Perhaps a Luxembourg VT-er can tell me more about it?
Those small parts of Luxembourg, and the Grund, gave me the best sense of how the city once was, long before the twirls and twiddles of 18th and 19th century architecture.
From the beginning the Neumünster Abbey was a hospital known as St John's Hospital but in 1547 Benedictine monks settled there and put up several new buildings. They stayed there until 1796 when they were driven out. The buildings have since been used in several ways but for 115 years from 1869 to 1984, there was a prison for men. However nowadays nobody has to be ashamed if he is seen coming out from the buildings since there is now the "Cultural Meeting Place of Neumünster", a major venue for culture.
The Pétrusse Casemates were constructed in the 17th century by the Spanish.
Not as large as the Bock Casemates and also more limited opening hours.
The Bock Casemates consist of tunnels and passages carved by the Spanish in the 17th century (in 1644 to be exact) and was in use during the World War I and II to give shelter to the city's inhabitants. The first tunnels were 23 km but nowadays 17 km remains in good condition.
From March to October you can enter the casemates between 10.00 and 17.00.
Admission 3 Euro for adults, 2.50 Euro for children.
There are info signs in a couple of languages.
Before you start exploring the city on foot it might be good to take the sightseeing train Petrusse Express leaving every 30 min between 10.00 and 18.00 from late March to October. It starts from Place de la Constitution.
Cost 8,50 Euro for adults, 5 Euro for children 5 to 15 years old.
Although the capital city of Luxembourg is not particularly large, its layout is complex, as the city is set on several levels, straddling hills and dropping into the two gorges.
The 70 m (230 ft) deep gorges are spanned by many bridges and viaducts.
The city, because of its location and natural geography, has through history been a place of strategic military significance. The first fortifications were built as early as the 10th century.
The Casemates Bock is a network of underground fortifications, built in the 18th century, that tunnel under the city. The fortifications and environs are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The capital city of Luxembourg City is a seat of several institutions of the European Union, including the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, and the European Investment Bank.
VIDEO of my visit:
Luxembourg City is well known for its beatiful sights and especially for the Chemin de la Corniche which is sometimes called "Europe's most beautiful balcony". It follows the bend of the little river Alzette, opposite to the Grund area. There are info signs to follow when you walk the way round the bend and at the bottom of the valley, taking the small footbridge "Stierchen" across the Alzette and up the other side.
The suburbs of Pfaffenthal, Grund, and Clausen are full of quaint buildings, parks, and hiking trails. You can walk forever in the lovely Petrusse Valley.
One point of interest in this part of the city is the Quirinus Chapel. Built into the rock, it stands on the site of an ancient pagan place of sacrifice. St. Quirinus dedicated this modest chapel in the 14th century. It was a popular place of pilgrimage until the 30 Years War.
The 1867 Treaty of London required the dismantling of the city's fortress. But some parts have survived, and others have been restored. The remnants of the fortifications are visible all over the city, especially along the edges of the upper parts.
Luxembourg city is not so big; the main sightseeing places can be reached by foot. Don't forget to bring Luxembourg map, you can get it for free from the tourist information office.
On Sunday morning, not so many cars or people on the street, so you can enjoy walking and taking a lot of pictures cause the city is yours....
The Walls of Corniche are a pedestrian promenade which was built by the Spaniards and the French in the 17th century.
It is also commonly known as "Europe’s most beautiful balcony".
The Corniche had staircases in the steep parts until 1870, but these were later levelled off. From here you can enjoy splendid views of the Alzette Valley and the Rham Plateau.
The Walls of Corniche are located high on the left bank of the Alzette river.
This is the green area in the valley spanned by several of the bridges, with the Petrusse river running through it. Strolling through this area was a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a few hours. The walk down into the valley was great, although the climb back up was not quite as relaxing.
The founder of Luxembourg, King Willem II of Holland (which also included what is currently part of Belgium) and Grand Duke of Luxembourg stands as a statue on a square named after him. The town hall is on that square and on saturdays there's a food market.
Reviewing the pictures I took during my one-day-citytrip, I had a thought. Most of my pictures are related to architecture or buildings.
Its only then that I realized why I took pictures of the buildings and why the so relatively important number. It was the architecture and the minimalist setting that impressed me most. The post office was beautiful, in a minimalist way... some Renaissance style. They use to keep it simple, just elegant.
The whole town has this provincial tranquil flair. It's only when you consider the life costing, the high number of banking instituttions that you realize it is not the average European provincial town, it's Luxembourg city, capital city of Grand-Duché de Luxembourg.
Also, out of city center, you'll see the European Intitutions area. Yep, they have such an area too there. One tends to forget sometimes. :-)
Given the price tags on windowdisplay, I'd say that shopping is rather a must-see there than must-do in Luxembourg city.
Nothing bad... but I would prefer Paris then. They have all the big brands of prêt-à-porter: Hermès, Céline, Max Mara... But if you can afford those brands here, you'd better go to Paris, then ? More choice. Still, I noticed a Tara Jarmon boutique, a favourite Canadian designer of mine, that we don't have in Belgium, I think. And that is cool.
Apart from the big brands, the average on price tags seems, to me, higher than those of Brussels and even Paris.