November 9, 2014

Luxemburg - the Location.

The city is so well captured on this stained-glass window
at the Central Station.
The first impression one gets from Luxemburg (the city, that is, Luxemburg is also the name of the country, which can be a bit confusing) is that it´s situated in a quite awkward place, for a modern city. Of course, it must have totally made sense in the very beginning: two rivers meet here, the Alzette and the Petrusse, and if you consider the spectacularly deep valleys they have dug into the ground, they must once have been pretty much more impressive than they are today and this must have been a natural place to meet and trade. The Petrusse is today barely more than a ditch.

Above the river valleys is the old town, with what is left from the old fortress that defended this place. When the Spanish ruled here in the 17th Century, they started digging into the sandstone cliffside to make casemates, which is basically caves with guns in them. This work was continued by the subsequent rulers like the French, Preussians, Habsburgers, and in total there is 23 kilometers of tunnel under the city, most of which is closed off now. Some, however, is open to the public and naturally, we had to take a look.

This is the Passerelle, or the Old Bridge, or the Luxembourg Viaduct (must be loved, with so many names), which we had to cross to get into the city centre - our hotel was only a stone´s throw from the Central Station, on Rue de la Gare.

Constitution Square is built on top of old fortifications.
There are casemates underneath, but they only let you in on guided tours.

The Pont Adolphe from 1903 is a quite famous bridge (not that I had ever heard of it...), but it was being renovated. It looks like this underneath the bandages.

This part of town is called Grund, a German word that means foundation.
This is below the fortress, where the rivers meet,
probably the whole reason for Luxemburg being where it is, so the name is apt.

The casemates from outside.

The casemates from inside.

The red bridge, or The Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge, viewed from the casemates. One has to cross it to get to the airport and Kirchberg, which is the location of the EU institutions of Luxemburg. 

The railway bridge. The bridges really have a profound impact on the landscape . 


  1. Thanks for the tour :) I'm such a homebody lol, but I enjoy virtual travel.

    1. You are welcome. I think I have a couple more posts on this topic.