Thursday, 21 February 2013

luxembourg: the old quarter of the city


During the winter break I took the kids for a long walk in the Pétrusse Valley in the city centre of Luxembourg. It was a cold and grey February day but the walk was lovely and afterwards we went to a café. I was sort of expecting most of the photos to turn out a bit dull and gloomy but found myself pleasantly surprised. I think the old quarter of the city, called Grund, looks just as beautiful on a grey day as on a sunny one.

For those interested in the history of the city, here is a little extract from the website of UNESCO World Heritage Centre:

Because of its strategic position, Luxembourg was, from the 16th century until 1867 when its walls were dismantled, one of Europe's greatest fortified sites. It was repeatedly reinforced as it passed from one great European power to another: the Holy Roman Emperors, House of Burgundy, Habsburgs, French and Spanish kings, and finally the Prussians. Until their partial demolition, the fortifications were a fine example of military architecture spanning several centuries.

The City of Luxembourg is located at the crossing point of two major Roman roads. In 963 Sigefroid, a count from the Moselle valley, built a castle on the Rocher du Bock, which he obtained by means of an exchange with the Abbey of St Maximin of Trier. His servants and soldiers settled around the castle and the modern town sprang from the market-place of this settlement, the Vieux Marché.

The lower town of Grund and the Plateau du Rham: archaeological excavations have shown that the Grund and Rham areas were settled for some six centuries before Count Sigefroid took possession of the Bock promontory in 963. The Wenceslas Wall formed part of the third defensive circuit built in the late 14th century. It underwent a number of modifications and strengthenings as artillery improved.

The Grund sluice was built by the Austrians in 1731; it consists of a massive masonry dam with vaulted openings that could be closed to prevent water passing through them. Much of the lock was dismantled in 1878, but its remains are still impressive, and also provide a magnificent panorama of the city. The Hospital Saint-Jean was founded in 1308; in 1543 a Benedictine community was established there, to become known as the Neuminster.

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt
Luxembourg, February 2013

6 comments:

  1. I have to pay you a visit one day soon. :)

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  2. How amazing is it that you can walk amongst such history on a daily basis! Luxembourg looks so dreamy - I am with classiq on planning a visit ;)

    It must be my Latvian background but I love European cities with grey skies - some may find it dreary but I think it adds a mystery and romance. Happy Wednesday, Lisa! Hope your week is going well. xx

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  3. A beautiful city, lovely photographs, you are so fortunate to live near such an amazing piece of architectural history.

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  4. Wonderful to see these behind the scenes images from a city entirely unknown to me. Almost like a toy town, full of charm, despite its eventful history! Look like it was a very memorable day.

    xo

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  5. I have always wanted to visit Luxembourg. Thanks for inspiration!
    Caroline

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