Discovering the cultural wealth of the Grand Duchy

The European Year of Cultural Heritage provides a unique opportunity to discover the Grand Duchy’s stunning cultural diversity, which naturally contributes to its rich appeal as a tourist destination. Located in the so-called ‘green lung of Europe’, the country boasts an impressively diverse natural landscape punctuated by cultural gems that are more than worth a detour.

You might start with the plethora of castles that give the country its fairy-tale appearance. In the centre-west region just outside the capital, the iconic Valley of the Seven Castles offers romantic strolls along the Eisch river.

Meanwhile, the north is home to Vianden Castle, considered one of the most beautiful feudal residences in Europe. Victor Hugo chose the Ardennes castle as the view from his room during his exile between 1862 and 1865. The house where he lived is now home to a wonderful museum where you can immerse yourself in the engrossing artistic world of the author, who left an indelible mark on the town.

One of the greatest manifestos for peace and the equality of men and women can be found at Clervaux Castle in the Family of Man exhibition, which is inscribed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. Curated by Edward Steichen for New York’s MoMA in 1955, the exhibition reveals 503 humanist portraits by 273 photographers, including Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Dorothea Lange. You can discover the legacy of pioneering photographer Edward Steichen in several public collections in Luxembourg, most notably at the National Museum of Art and History and the Villa Vauban in Luxembourg, as well as the National Audiovisual Centre in Dudelange – a must-see for every amateur shutterbug!

The town of Dudelange is also noted for the quality of its galleries at the avant-garde of creation, whose exhibitions regularly feature the up-and-coming artists of tomorrow. In addition, this southern region – nicknamed the ‘Land of the Red Rocks’ – is home to the vestiges of the nation’s most important industrial heritage. From the blast furnaces of Belval to the open-cast mines of Fond-de-Gras, the Minett Tour offers a unique, 35-km itinerary that combines Luxembourg’s five most significant reconverted steel sites with delightful cultural and tourist attractions.

You can discover industrial heritage of a different nature in the Éislek region, for instance at the Haut-Martelange Slate Museum, the Old Copper Mine Museum in Stolzembourg, or the Haute-Sûre Nature Park Centre, which is home to an old cloth factory. Finally, it is also possible to tour utility company SEO’s pumped-storage hydroelectric power station in Vianden, where you can learn all about the world of hydroelectric power generation.

Luxembourg’s industrial past led the nation to co-found the European Coal and Steel Association (ECSA), a precursor of the European Union of which the Grand Duchy is also a founding member. Testaments to Europe and its construction can be found all over Luxembourg City. The Kirchberg quarter, for instance, boasts an impressive architectural landscape that allows visitors to discover the different periods and milestones of Europe’s history. These buildings harmonise perfectly with the ruins of the thousand-year-old city, which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Meanwhile, located in the Moselle region, Schengen is probably the most famous European village in the world, known for inspiring the name of the eponymous treaty. Finally, just a stone’s throw away from the French and German borders, the European Museum Schengen presents key moments in the evolution of Europe, all housed in a stunning example of the contemporary architecture for which the region is particularly famous.

Heritage also includes gastronomy, viticulture and tradition. The popular Eimaischen festival on 2 April and the Octave market held from 22 April to 6 May 2018 offer yet more opportunities to discover a surprising side of Luxembourg.

For more information, please visit: www.visitluxembourg.com/en/what-to-do/arts-culture

Publication date
28 March 2018
Author
Luxembourg for Tourism
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