Luxembourg City is the medieval capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It was a Roman outpost almost 2,000 years ago, but it was in the 10th century that it started to form into a city. Today, Luxembourg is the jewel in Western Europe’s crown, while the country it lies in is among the richest in the world. Clean streets, high-end luxury retailers, antique castles in perfect condition, manicured lawns and gardens bursting with colour make it a wonder to behold. It has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Wenzel Circular Walk – “1000 years in 100 minutes” – a walk to remember
The Wenzel Circular Walk is a historic sightseeing tour organized by the City of Luxembourg. It can be explored in the company of a Tour Guide or independently with the help of a Map from the City Tourist Office. The route is named after Wenceslas 11, the Duke of Luxembourg who fortified the city. The fact that we (with Map in hand) often wandered from the designated path meant that our walk took much longer than the time suggested, but we enjoyed every minute of our exploration of the history and beauty of this delightful city.
The Walk begins at the Bock promontory, continues with the Chemin de la Corniche, the Old Gates, the Wenzel Ring Wall, the medieval bridges, and ends in the picturesque Alzette Valley. One of the most striking features of Luxembourg City is the terrain it was built on – numerous hills surrounded by steep valleys and rivers – hence the need for the Passerelle.
The Passerelle (also known as Luxembourg Viaduct) is one of the most important bridges in Luxembourg City. The viaduct spans the Petrusse Valley, reaching a height of almost 45 metres at its tallest point. It is 290m long, with 24 arches. The Passerelle was built between 1859 and 1861 to connect the city centre with Luxembourg’s new railway station.
Casemates du Bock – the city’s labyrinth of defensive passageways boosted Luxembourg’s military reputation so much in the past, that many called it ‘the Gibraltar of the North’. The first tunnels to this large underground network adjacent to the castle built in 963 by Count Siegfried on the Bock promontory were built in 1644, in the era of the Spanish domination. Today, open to the public, there are only 17 km of tunnels left.
Interesting Facts: The Luxembourg financial centre is the largest investment fund centre in Europe and second in the world after the United States. It is the leading private banking centre in the Eurozone and the largest captive reinsurance centre in Europe. 143 banks from 28 different countries are established in Luxembourg. Wikipedia 2016
Luxembourg, despite its tiny size, is a truly cosmopolitan country, with more than 46% of the population consisting of foreign residents. There are more expats living in Luxembourg than in any other European country.
Eleven of Luxembourg’s Restaurants appear starred in the 2016 Michelin Guide. With 563,000 inhabitants, the Grand Duchy continues to have the largest per capita concentration of starred tables in the world. On our tourist budget Kaempff-Kohler was our place of choice for a coffee or lunch during our short stay in this truly beautiful city.
In 1792 the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote about Luxembourg – “so much greatness with grace, so much solemnity with sweetness”.