luxembourg

Time to discover Luxembourg

Published On July 30, 2017 | By Matt | Europe

You might not know much about the ancient little pocket of Europe known as The Grand Duchy of
Luxembourg – but it is a fascinating place. A land-locked country, it is surround by Belgium,
Germany, and France. Throughout history, this central location has made it quite strategically
important – originally founded as a roman fortress, it has been a military stronghold for the various
powers that have fought for control of Europe across the ages. In recent years, Luxembourg has
become a financial centre, specialising in Private Banking. Luxembourg has also been in the news
for offering favourable taxation arrangements to major companies such as Skype and Amazon who
now base their regional headquarters here. But if you’re not interested in military history or high
finance, why would you visit Luxembourg? In this article we share with you a few suggestions.

Festival season

While Luxembourg endures some fairly bleak weather during the winter months, in spring and
summer the city really comes alive. The Printemps Music Festival kicks things off – focusing on
jazz and world music, but there is really a continuous stream of music events from high brow
classical stuff through to free concerts and regular performances that take over the city’s squares
and open spaces. Luxembourg’s medieval castle and surrounding buildings provides a fantastic
setting for the Nuit des Legendes, or if you fancy a bit of an outdoor experience then the annual
Rock-A-Field festival offers a camping site for 15,000 music lovers to get down and dirty.

Fancy some hiking?

Summer is a fantastic time to visit Luxembourg because the surrounding hills are criss-crossed by
an extensive networking of hiking trails. Detailed walking maps are available from the tourist office
and the designated paths and trails are all clearly marked and easy to follow. The most popular
area for walking is Mullerthal – the main trail here is 110km long and passes through forests,
canyons, and fields – a real slice of the Luxembourg countryside.

Be an iron man

It’s not often that you get to combine a sporting event with a unique slice of history, but the annual
Luxembourg Iron Man event is held in Schengen – the site where the Schengen Agreement was
signed in 1985 which removed border checks between the participating countries and really
transformed modern Europe into the more integrated way of operating that we all enjoy today. The
event is a 1.9km swim along the Mosel River (which forms the border with Germany); a 90km bike
ride through the vineyards and rolling hills of Luxembourg’s wine region; and a 21.1km run through
the Mosel valley, finishing in the picturesque of Remich.

Walk the walls

Even if you are not into military history, the old fortress walls of the city are fascinating.
Luxembourg was one of the most formidable forts in Europe – mainly because of the tunnels that
were built into the rock. Known as casemates, these tunnels could be used for refuge during
attacks. Most of the city’s fortifications have now been dismantled, but the walls and casemates
are still standing strong.

You may not know much about Luxembourg, but if you fancy somewhere different for a weekend
escape that this ancient fortress town is well worth exploring.

Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) Creative commons.

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