The beautiful country of Luxembourg is full of culture, fascinating architecture, historic neighborhoods, natural landscapes, and breathtaking views. From the legendary Bock Casemates, to the National Mine Museum and the war-stained Ardennes, seeking out cultural experiences in Luxembourg is no challenging task. Explore some of our favorite cultural hotspots with us, and consider adding them to your list of travel destinations during your next trip to Luxembourg!
The Casemates du Bock, once one of Europe’s most impregnable fortresses, is now an international tourist destination, and a stark reminder of what mankind is capable of creating. The casemates' originating fortress, Bock, was first built in 963. As various forces took control of the fortress, its walls and power were expanded and improved over time.
In 1644, when the Spanish took control of the structure, the underground multi-level tunnels, or casemates, leading from the castle’s cellar were created. Continued by the subsequent French and then the Austrians, the casemates eventually grew to 14 miles (23 kilometers) of tunnels and reached depths of 130 feet (40 meters) below the Bock fortress. The casemates included 25 artillery slots, as well as stables, storehouses, kitchens and bakeries, workshops, slaughterhouses, and even barracks for 1,200 soldiers. The casemates were so brilliantly designed that even a fresh-water well supplied those underground with plenty of drinking water, allowing the civilians to survive a 7-month siege against the French in the 18th century.
In 1867, the destruction of the casemates was ordered in response to the Treaty of London, but because the casemates could not be destroyed without demolishing a portion of the city, 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) of the casemates were left untouched. The surviving portion of the casemates served as a bomb shelter for 35,000 civilians during World War II. In 1994, the casemates were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Now, this fascinating military marvel is open for the public to explore.
For an experience from “the olden days,” purchase a ticket for AMTF Train 1900. This 1900s historic train ride zips riders on a 20-minute scenic route through the industrial park at Fond-de-Gras. Restored steam locomotives, wagons, railcars, and other original train materials create a one-of-a-kind setting, ensuring visitors an authentic old-school Luxembourgish experience. Various films and other media projects have called this site “home” for filming needs, because this site has successfully preserved over 100 years of the locomotive industry and railway history. This ensures that Train 1900 remains a Luxembourgish blast from the past.
Photo by Karl Noben
Parks in Luxembourg and Natural Landscapes
What was once a bloody battleground from World War II, is now a tranquil natural and cultural spot within Luxembourg. Representing one third of the nation’s landmass and almost half of the country’s wooded area, the Ardennes present a unique and beautiful natural landscape. The area is home to the Vianden Castle, among other medieval fortifications. Cultural offerings, including the Festival of Wiltz and the Carnival Parade are two of the most anticipated cultural events in the Ardennes.
Art and Museums
First opened in 2006, the Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (The Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art, or Mudam) showcases a variety of modern art from the most inspirational modern day national, and international, artists. An interesting fact about Mudam is that the galleries and interior spaces are entirely created and designed by the artists. Thus, the interior of the museum changes on a regular basis, giving museum-goers a different experience nearly every visit. The museum challenges contemporary thinking, while also encouraging visitors to think of future artistic trends.
Nestled in the heart of Luxembourg City, Villa Vauban supplies Dutch art from the 17th century’s Golden Age and landscape/historical pieces from 19th century France. Paintings, sculptures, and other works of art all grace the galleries at Villa Vauban with a heavenly and artistic beauty. While the museum itself is small, the property’s landscaping, as well as the house that makes up the museum, contribute to a wonderful artistic experience.
Photo by Cayambe
Perhaps the country’s most unique museum, the National Mining Museum in Rumelange, hosts a vast collection of original tools, equipment, machinery, documents, and photographs, each portraying a different chapter from the mining story in Luxembourg from the 20th century. Underground galleries provide visitors with access to view over a century’s worth of mining technology. Because the museum is within an original mine, visitors are given an opportunity to truly understand the miners' working conditions. In addition to the museum, other tours of Rumelange and the surrounding area can be reserved; walking, Segway, and train tours are all available.
Whether exploring Luxembourg’s underground tunnels, viewing international art, or living the life of a miner, there are plenty of cultural wonders to broaden one's sense of the world in which we live. Never stop learning about different cultures, histories and nations, and visit Luxembourg's most cherished locations! Do it in style by reserving your stay with Dwellworks temporary housing today!
Interested in learning more about Luxembourg? We’ve got you covered!
- Destination Profile: Luxembourg
- 5 Things You Didn’t Know about Luxembourg
- Luxembourg City: What to Do, See, and Eat
- Castles in Luxembourg
Come back next week for the final installment of the World of Wonder blog series: Ireland!
Other posts from this series include:
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