Dr. Chun
Luxembourg City and Vianden, Luxembourg

May, 2015


The third destination during our European travel was Luxembourg, which is a tiny European country bordered by Belgium, France and Germany. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is famous for its fortified medieval old town perched on sheer cliffs. We also took a day trip to Vianden, which is well known for its picturesque castle.

013A three-hour train ride from Gare de Bruxelles-Midi to Luxembourg Gare Centrale early in the morning.  Our hotel was at a short walking distance from the railway station. 023After we checked into the hotel, we took a local bus and headed for Casino Luxembourg, which is not a casino, but a contemporary art museum.
033And then we walked to Monument of Remembrance.  Amazing view of the valley, river, and bridges! Unfortunately, Adolphe Bridge over Petrusse valley was under renovation. 043Walked around Cathédrale Notre-Dame, which is a Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance-style Roman Catholic cathedral in a former Jesuit church completed in 1621.
053We walked down the narrow stairs to the valley. The Passerelle is a viaduct in Luxembourg City. Nowadays it runs from the south into the city center, Ville Haute, carrying road traffic across the Pétrusse valley. 063Walked up to Place Guillaume II, which is the largest town square in the city. The square is made up of lovely old architecture and houses the Town Hall, terrace restaurants, and various shops.
073We passed the Palais Grand Ducal. It is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and where he performs most of his duties as head of state of the Grand Duchy.  We missed the changing of the guard in front of the palace. 083We had a quick stop for a snack at Chocolate House, a fine restaurant located across the Palace. Enjoyed sweets and cakes, while taking a short rest.
093As a museum-lover, I cannot skip Musée national d'histoire et d'art Luxembourg. So many artworks and artifacts from all epochs of Luxembourg history. Saint Michael's Church across the museum was under restoration. 103Le Chemin de la Corniche is also called "the most beautiful balcony of Europe."  It runs along the Alzette valley on the ramparts from the Bock Promontory to the lower part of the Holy Ghost Citadel.
113We walked down the valley to Alzette river and St. Jean du Grund. It was such an amazing afternoon to explore and wander around an old town that is so special and unique. 123Various shops located in the city center are undoubtedly one of the fundamental elements that make the capital attractive.  Villeroy & Boch was my wife's favorite store.
133Centrally placed in the old town, Place d'Armess is a square that attracts large numbers of locals and visitors. Cercle Municipal is located at the eastern end of the square. 143Visiting bands and music groups present free concerts from the central bandstand at the square every summer evening. We saw a little girl dancing to the music!
153NNext morning, we took a train to Ettlelbruck, and then caught a intercity bus to Vianden at the bus station adjoining the train station. One-day Luxembourg Card was a bargain! 163Vianden is a delightful historic town with a stunningly restored medieval castle, spectacularly situated on a rock high above the town. The chair lift to the castle was cool - and free with our Luxembourg Cards!
173Vianden Castle is one of the largest fortified castles west of the Rhine. With origins dating from the 10th century, the castle was built in the Romanesque style from the 11th to 14th centuries. 183The recently restored castle is set spectacularly on the rocks above the town. It has become a museum. The tour was self-paced and we never felt rushed as the castle was not busy at all.
193Back to Luxembourg City in the afternoon, and visited the Bock Casemates, which are among the longest subterranean tunnels in the world. The casemates that once formed an extraordinary network of 23 km were carved into the rocks of the city. 203NNot only did the casemates provide shelter for thousands of defenders with their equipment and horses, but they were also home to workshops of artillery and armaments, kitchens, bakeries, and slaughterhouses. Amazing!
213Wandered down the narrow corridors of the casemates. There are two sets of casemates, each with its own network of tunnels and look-out points. Do you want to play hide-and-seek? 223Enjoyed more sculptures and monuments on the street on the way back to the hotel.  It was our last night in Luxembourg. Au Revoir, Luxembourgers!
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