Article written in October 2012, shortly after my visit on the occcasion of the wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy. On 22 April 2023 another royal wedding will take place, only the civil one, of Guillaume’s sister Princess Alexandra and Nicolas Bagory. I still haven’t gone back by the way.
I have spent only four days of my life in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and have hardly seen something of it, but so far I love the country. Luxembourg has an old history, but a relatively new monarchy. Beautiful nature, old and new architecture, culture and history and friendly people. Luxembourg-City exists of high parts and valleys, and the old town in 1994 has become World Heritage of UNESCO.
When walking from the railway station to my hotel I had to cross the Adolphe Bridge, named after Grand Duke Adolphe I. From there you have a beautiful view on the valley. You have the old town with the Grand-Ducal Palace and the Cathedral of Our Lady, the statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte. On the other hand as I discovered last week on my first real day in the city, you have Kirchberg on the road to the airport of Luxembourg – the center of Europe. There you’ll find the most modern buildings, and the area is still not ready. To my big shame I must admit I still haven’t been in the valley. There was so much to do around the wedding, that I only had one day left in the end to act a bit as a tourist. And as my feet were hurting already a lot, long walks weren’t really on my agenda, even if I tried.
I haven’t been in many museums, unless you count the cathedral. I passed the new Mudam museum (Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean), and the Musée national d’histoire et d’art that in October 2012 showed an exhibition about the Grand-Ducal silver, but didn’t go in. I however paid a (too) short visit to the Bock casemats, part of the old Luxembourg military fortification.
It is already nice to walk through the streets of the city – which days after my visit got its 100.000 inhabitant. Lots of shops and nice terraces – especially at the Place d’Armes and the Place Guillaume II (more popularly known as the Knuedler). If there is one place I should recommend for lunch or just something in between, it is the Chocolate House, just opposite the entrance of the Grand Ducal Palace. Gorgeous chocolate cake, but don’t order a complete piece of cake like I did. Half of it is more than enough for most persons. Their tea and quiches can be recommended too. And the prices are not too high for the quality you get.
Also outside the city it seems to be beautiful. And if you don’t have a car the good public transport – both busses and trains – should take you everywhere you want. The country has several castles, the most famous one being Vianden Castle. Of course you have Berg Castle in Colmar-Berg, or Fischbach Castle, but you can’t visit them.
I certainly will return to Luxembourg one day, but then in the Summer (mid July-late August), when the Grand-Ducal Palace is open.