November 10, 2014

Excursion into the Ardennes

One nationality seem more welcome in Luxemburg than any other: the Americans. We saw so many memorials to the victims and the heros of the Second World War, and the Americans are celebrated as the liberators.

Since we are very interested in the history of this particular period, we decided to go north, to the Ardennes and its capital Wiltz, where there is a museum dedicated to the Battle of the Bulge, or the Ardennes Counteroffensive, as we usually think of it.

Unfortunately it wasn´t clear from the website that the museum was closed, so we travelled for an hour by train to be met by a locked door. Not that it got us down much. Heck, we were on vacation, and we got to see the Ardennes! We even saw an Ardennes horse from the train - which was too fast for us to get a snap of it, but if you don´t know them, they look like this.

We ended up taking a walk around the small town of Wiltz, lit a few candles in the church, walked back to the train and returned to the capital, where we had - of all things - a Mexican meal with a Belgian beer, a mix of beer and blackberry juice. Odd, but so good I drank two.

The monument on Constitution Square.

The Ardennes from the train window. We followed the valley and the river, what a wonderful landscape - even the mist felt just right!

The houses are typically plastered and topped with slate roofs from local quarries. The roofs often covers the top two stories on larger houses, and the shape of that church tower roof you see, a rather flat slope that surrounds a steep needle-like spire, was everywhere.

The war monument in Wiltz. 

This is in honor of general Eisenhower, who personally liberated Wiltz.

My favourite memorial: to Richard Brookins, American GI who decided to be St Nick to the children of Wiltz at Christmas 1944. He was made honorary citizen of Wiltz; he died in 2009. 

Memorial to the Battle of the Bulge.

The Town Hall.

The castle of Wiltz, now a cultural centre and our destination, the museum that turned out to be closed.

The city centre.

The local church.

Wiltz on the other side of the tracks. The houses are rather colourful, don´t you think?


  1. I wasn't familiar with those horses, but now I'm in love!

    I enjoyed these photos. The memorials are striking!

    1. Yes, those horses are lovely. I think in this country at least, most people think of the horse rather than the mountains when you say Ardennes.