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Jul 31 2011

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Luxembourg

I spent one week end in Luxembourg to visit R. who, after some years living in Dublin, decided to settle in Luxembourg for a while. I did not know much about Luxembourg and I did not have much expectations about this city – duchy, I just needed a little fresh air and a short visit to this friend turned to be a great opportunity to discover it.

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Luxemburg is a small city divided into 24 districts (!). However if you are a visitor you need to retain only two: high city and low city which represent the medieval core of the city. Despite its size, there are many interesting sites to visit, especially if you like history. The most interesting site to visit is the Bock Casemates, a network of underground fortifications built during the XVIIth and XVIIIth century.  The best builder-engineers of the new masters (the Burgundians, the Spaniards, the French, the Austrians and the German Confederation) with the passing of time turned the city into one of the most powerful emplacements in the world, the “Gibraltar of the North”. Its defenses were bolstered by three fortified rings with 24 forts, 16 other strong defensive works and a unique 23 km long network of casemates: these could not only shelter thousands of soldiers and their horses, but also housed workshops, kitchens, bakeries, slaughter-houses etc.

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The Grund, or Low City is a very picturesque area located in the valley below the center of Luxembourg City on the banks of the Alzette River. In the past this area housed the lower class of Luxembourg and many workshops and tanneries were located in this area. Today the Grund has become a trendy (and expensive) quartier with colorful houses and posh pubs, the perfect place for a stroll.

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The pedestrian area around the ducal palace has also a nice architecture. Luxembourg has the world’s second highest GDP (PPP) per capita (after Qatar), according to the World Bank and although Luxembourgers are not as exhibitionists as Qataris its richness is something that doesn’t go unnoticed, walking around Luxembourg also means a continuous show of expensive cars.

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On Sunday, R.’s boyfriend had some free tickets to visit the Mudam Luxembourg (or Musée d’Art Moderne). This is a quite new museum designed by I. M. Pei (the architect that reorganized the Louvre with its famous Pei pyramids) in 2006 as “the Fortress Metaphor”. Ieoh Ming Pei visualized a museum that stands on the very rampart wall that surrounded the arrow shaped inner fortress. Inside, exhibitions were interesting for those who like Contemporary Art, I suppose.

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Luxembourg was an interesting week end plan and of course I was happy to see R. again!

My Luxembourg Pictures :

 

2011 07 LUXEMBOURG

Permanent link to this article: http://holaworld.fr/luxembourg/

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