Explore the Grand Duchy

Visit Luxembourg

Visit Luxembourg is the National Tourist Office of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

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The Guttland

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The Guttland refers to the centre of the Grand Duchy, around the capital. Because of its fertile soil, it became known as the ‘good land’. Unlike the sparsely populated Oesling, the Guttland is relatively urbanised today.

Here you find the Valley of the Seven Castles along the river Eisch. The seven are: Mersch, Schoenfels, Hollenfels, Old Ansembourg Castle, New Ansembourg Castle, Septfontaines and Koerich Castle.


The Oesling – Luxembourg’s Ardennes

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The Oesling is called Éislek in Lëtzebuergesch. It is part of the greater Ardennes region, which extends into France, Belgium and Germany, where it is known as the Eifel. The largely wooded Oesling covers some 32% of the territory of the Grand Duchy.

People live mostly in pretty little villages, while Clervaux, Vianden and Wiltz are the only sizeable townships. The imposing medieval castles of Vianden, Bourscheid and Esch-sur-Sûre are major tourist attractions, and two nature parks attract hikers and nature lovers from far and wide. Markets and medieval festivals, as well as a series of classical music concerts, are the cultural highlights of the year.

The Second World War Battle of the Bulge was fought in the region in late 1944 and early 1945.

Featured image: © Visit Luxembourg


Vianden Castle

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Vianden Castle, situated in the Oesling, was constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries. It is one of the largest and most magnificent feudal residences of the romanesque and gothic periods in Europe. Until the beginning of the 15th century it was the seat of the influential Counts of Vianden who could boast close connections to the Royal Family of France and the German Imperial Court. In 1417, the dominion passed by inheritance to the House of Nassau, which also acquired the principality of Orange in 1530.

In 1820, under the reign of King William I of Holland, the buildings were sold piecemeal, and the castle fell into a state of ruin. It remained a pile of rubble for over 150 years, until the family of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg transferred it to State Ownership in 1977. Now restored to its former glory, the castle ranks as a monument of not only regional, but European importance, and was listed in 2019 by CNN as one of the 21 most beautiful castles in the world.

Featured image: © Visit Luxembourg


The Mullerthal Region

Click on the image to read about the Mullerthal at Visit Luxembourg

Featured image: © Visit Luxembourg

The Mullerthal Region is often referred to as Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland, which at first may strike you as preposterous, until you realise that this description was given by visiting Dutch tourists whose own lands are flat as a pancake. It is located to the north of the Moselle valley along the border with Germany, with Echternach as its main town.

The region is characterised by sandstone rocks, which by thousands of years of erosion have been shaped into mythical formations with strange-sounding names, and which lend themselves particularly well to mountaineering practice.

The caves of the Mullerthal used to offer shelter to prehistoric hunter-gatherers, and in 1935, a skeleton was discovered on the banks of the Black Ernz, which, it turned out, was 8,000 years old. Named Loschbour Man, it has been comprehensively studied and has contributed much to the knowledge of the ancestry of modern Europeans.

The skeleton is now kept at the National Museum of Natural History in Luxembourg City.

The results of DNA testing in 2014 allowed the Luxembourg Centre National de Recherche Archéologique and the Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art to make a 3-D reconstruction of the man, inspiring a seven-minute-long, award-winning animated movie by Nic Herber, entitled L’homme de Loschbour.

Click on the image to view the film on Vimeo (with French commentary)

Featured image: © Nic Herber


Echternach

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Echternach is a picturesque little town situated on the River Sûre. Before it got established in the early Middle Ages, there used to be a Roman villa here, reputed to have been one of the largest north of the Alps.

The locality became a religious and artistic centre with the foundation of a Benedictine monastery by the Northumbrian monk St Willibrord in the 7th century. The scriptorium was famous throughout the world for its richly illuminated manuscripts. After the monastery was ransacked by soldiers during the French Revolution, it was forced to close down.

The town retains a medieval ambience, with its narrow streets, the remains of ancient ramparts, and a marketplace with a Gothic town hall, in spite of the fact that two-thirds of the buildings were destroyed during the Second World War, and reconstructed during the 1950s. Echternach is a big draw with foreign tourists, especially the Dutch, who feel an affinity with St Willibrord, who was the first Bishop of Utrecht. The crypt of the basilica houses his tomb. Since the famous Dancing Procession of Echternach became part of UNESCO’S Intangible World Cultural Heritage in 2010, a small museum can be visited in a side nave.

Featured image: © Visit Luxembourg


The Moselle Region

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Luxembourg’s vineyards can be found in the Moselle Region, situated on the 42km border that the country shares with Germany. The micro-climates and soil conditions on these gentle hills are perfect for viticulture. Particularly the south-facing slopes produce some excellent white and sparkling wines (called Crémants).

Most of the wines are for domestic consumption, and are largely unknown outside the borders of the Grand Duchy. There are only around 50 producers. Two thirds of the wines are grown by the Vinsmoselle cooperative, with facilities at Greiveldange, Grevenmacher, Remerschen, Stadtbredimus, Wellenstein and Wormeldange.

Featured image: © Visit Luxembourg


The Land of the Red Rocks

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The Land of the Red Rocks is known as the Minette Region in Luxembourg, after the local iron ore which is called minette in French. These minerals had been all but wortless until the year 1855, when the British engineer Henry Bessemer invented a method for the removal of impurities from pig-iron, by blowing compressed air through the molten metal, a process which was improved in 1879 by Sidney Gilchrist Thomas. Not only did these inventions make industrial exploitation possible, but the slag they produced could be used as a phosphate fertiliser, increasing crop yields, and putting an end to famines throughout the region.

Soon, steel mills sprang up in Eich and Dommeldange, close to Luxembourg City, and Schifflange, Esch, Rodange, Rumelange, Dudelange and Differdange, all in the southern Minette Region. This led to an enormous increase in population in the South of the Grand Duchy, and the steel industry laid the foundation of Luxembourg’s prosperity during the 20th century.

1911 saw the foundation of ARBED (Aciéries Réunies de Burbach Eich  Dudelange), and the construction of a modern factory at Esch-Belval. The steel industry grew and flourished until the 1970s, when worldwide demand for steel slumped, and production costs became uncompetitive. Most of Luxembourg’s steel mills have since closed.

The brownfield site of Esch-Belval is being redeveloped into a large scientific and cultural centre, including a campus of the University of Luxembourg, and the Rockhal, Luxembourg’s largest concert venue.

The main conurbations of the Minette Region are Esch-sur-Alzette, the second-largest city of the country, with some 35,000 inhabitants, and the towns of Differdange and Dudelange.

Featured image: © Visit Luxembourg


Minett Park Fond-de-Gras

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Fond-de-Gras is a small valley in Southern Luxembourg, on the French border, where numerous disused mining galleries are located. Nowadays it is difficult to imagine this small valley as one of the most important mining sites in Luxembourg.

After the extraction of iron ore ended in 1955, a group of railway enthusiasts started a project christened Train 1900, restoring and operating a tourist train using historic steam locomotives. It went into operation in 1973, and connects Fond-de-Gras with the town of Pétange, on a line which once transported the ore to steelworks in the Grand-Duchy and abroad.

In addition, a mining train called Minièresbunn travels between Fond-de-Gras and the village of Lasauvage, allowing visitors to see the interior of a re-opened mineshaft.

Featured image: © Minettpark


Youth Hostels Luxembourg

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Regardless of whether you’re travelling as a backpacker, family, tour group or school – Youth Hostels Luxembourg welcome guests of all sorts. Due to their modern infrastructures, you can also do more than just book a bed: They offer a wide range of leisure activities, animation programmes, catering, childrens birthday party packages and much more! Furthermore, their hostels are connected to all the regional hiking and cycling paths and are perfectly equipped for holiday activities. In addition, the in-house Melting Pot restaurants offer tasty meals at affordable prices.

A total of nine youth hostels are available to guests from around the World. As there are no age limitations, all of the hostels are open to families, groups and backpackers.

Three of them are located in the Mullerthal Region: Beaufort, Echternach and Larochette. Luxembourg’s Ardennes region is home to two beautifully situated youth hostels: The hostel in Lultzhausen is built along the shores of Luxembourg’s largest lake – the Upper Sure Nature Park, while the hostel in Vianden lies just opposite the spectacular medieval castle. The Moselle valley is known across Europe for its excellent wines as well as the Schengen Agreement. It is in this region that you find the youth hostel of Remerschen, located in the midst of the local nature reserve. Situated in the Valley of the Seven Castles, the youth hostel in Hollenfels is the perfect place for overnight stays in the countryside, with a stunning view over the local castle. The newest hostel is located in Esch-sur-Alzette, the heart of the Red Rock Region of Luxembourg. Last but not least, the youth hostel in Luxembourg-City is located in the Pfaffenthal district of the capital.

Youth Hostels Luxembourg, 2, rue du Fort Olisy, L-2261 Luxembourg

Tel +352 26 27 66 200