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Route of the European Memory of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg - Introduction

european institute of cultural routes

Michel Thomas-Penette

09 October 2005

Several years after the launch of the route of the Heritage Sites of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, we invite you to follow the path and explore the links between these sites and other European countries.

Cities: Luxembourg-City, Koerich, Redange-sur-Attert, Colpach, Esch-sur-Sûre, Wiltz, Clervaux, Vianden, Diekirch, Mersch, Larochette, Bourglinster, Junglinster, Echternach, Rosport, Wasserbillig, Grevenmacher, Wormeldange, Remich, Schengen, Mondorf-les-Bains, Esch-sur-Alzette, Dudelange
Department: Luxembourg
Region: Luxembourg
Country: Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg


‘The rapid disappearance of our national heritage has today given rise to the creation of a list of the places that embody this heritage and which, through the efforts of man or the work of the centuries, have remained the most striking symbols of it: celebrations, emblems, monuments and memorials, eulogies, archives, dictionaries and museums.’

This quote from Pierre Nora heads his series of three works Heritage Sites. III. France 1. Conflict and Sharing can be accurately applied to the project being carried out by the Service for the Sites and Monuments of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in the framework of the Council of Europe’s campaign ‘Europe, a Common Heritage’.

The route ‘Heritage sites and Sites of the Future of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg’ has enabled a rereading of the heritage of the 12 cantons of the country, each one illustrating a period or theme representative of the significant points in the creation of the identity of Luxembourg and its people.

At each heritage and future site, steles evoking the selected theme were put up during the course of the year 2000.

The route of heritage sites and sites of the future covers many areas of the cultural, scientific and natural heritage which make up numerous stages in the evolution of Luxembourg’s society, in a strongly European context.

It bears a legacy that explains concepts and allows comparisons, which invites reflection and opens up future perspectives.

Land of journeys, exchange and sharing, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg has realised how to preserve the traces of those who have just passed through and of those who have stayed, thus becoming a real place of cultural confluences.

From life in the Middle Ages to new technologies and banking, via lëtzebuergesch or religious heritage, the large expanses of countryside and the intimacy of the literature, this route addresses various aspects of an identity, which has been fed by multiple influences for more than 2000 years.

Therefore, this route invites you to live and remember, in a voyage through time and space, with the help of the 12 heritage sites and sites of the future, the major aspects of history that have been and are still being created by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a little country rich in culture and prospects

However, by reviving this idea five years later, we hoped to enlarge it into a route that not only does justice to the sites held by the Service for National Sites and Monuments, but also takes a longer look at the works, figures or landscapes linked to these sites, putting them into a historical context with other sites in Europe that influenced them or with whom they share a common history.

To take up a quote from Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, ex-Minister of Culture, Higher Education and Research of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ‘To undertake a journey through Europe is to confront the reality of diversity. To undertake a journey through heritage is to leave the present in order to better understand it. We cannot experience history and the past unless we bring it into the present.’

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More than that, since some years, the University of luxembourg launched a research programme FNR "History, Memory and Identity. Study of the Study of the role of the places of memory in the constitution of the Luxembourg collective identities". A book, issued in 2007 presents part of the results.

Charly Gaul, casemates, the “Brunnen”, “Roude Léiw”… Here some examples of characters, places, myths and symbols building the memory of the Luxembourgers.

In this work intended for general public, the reader will be confronted with a step which will seem to him at first sight diverting: not a traditional national history - the reconstitution of the great facts - but a history of the construction of the Luxembourg representations. The concept of places of memory thus includes all the elements which areestablished in the memory of the Luxembourgers. The study of these places of memory makes it possible to include/understand the construction of the identities of the Luxembourgers: how a dominant image of the nation was forged and how other elements of the past fell into the lapse of memory.

It studies the formation of very diverse images, of the deep elements (like the Luxembourg language), of the famous characters (like Guillaume II or Emile Mayrisch), of the events (like Klëppelkrich), of the important places (like the casemates, Fünfbrunnen or the cathedral), of the landscapes, the symbols (like “Gëlle FRA”) as well as traditions (like the ”Octav”).

A great number of authors, all specialists in their field, contributed to the realization of this completely exceptional book because it follows an interdisciplinary approach. The abundant iconography largely exceeds the framework of the simple illustration. It is used to show the media of the memory, central topic of the study.

All these encounters and references are the roots and precious resources for this route which is presented into sections to which you can access clicking on the links at your right:

European Memory of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg – II Luxembourg-City and fortifications

European Memory of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg – III Koerich and Baroque art

European Memory of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg – IV Rural Architecture in Redange-sur-Attert

European Memory of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg – V The little Europe in Colpach

European Memory of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg – VI The Haute-Sûre and wool industry

European Memory of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg – VII The landscapes of Ösling Region

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  The Trail

The route stretches over slightly more than 300 km and offers an extensive tour of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Beginning and ending in Luxembourg City, it first turns towards the West and the Attert Valley before climbing towards the North and the Our Valley.

Then, from the middle of the country, it joins the Moselle before climbing once more to reach the plateau and to meet the Red Lands of the South.

The journey take seven hours by car, and many of the sites can only be reached by car or bicycle.

Nevertheless, some sections form a walking route. The link below will take you to sites providing practical information: the National Tourism Office, the Automobile Club of the Grand Duchy, walking and cycling associations and specialist tourist guides.

Part of the route follows the Belgian, German and French borders. At each point we have specified sites that can be visited nearby in the neighbouring countries.

Furthermore, the aim of the route was to choose a particular place of interest, a heritage site, for each stage, and this has been put into context with at least one place of interest situated in another European country.

They can be found through the links in the text.

Have a good trip and write to us!

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  more infos ...
Luxembourg (The Grand-Duchy)
Guide-Encyclopedia Gallimard.
Velo Tour Luxembourg

Greater Region French Version
Guidebook of transborder Cultural Routes.
Greater Region German Version
Guidebook of transborder cultural routes.
Discover Luxembourg

Lieux de mémoire au Luxembourg
Charly Gaul, casemates, the “Brunnen”, “Roude Léiw”…
Sites of memory III.1.

Lieux de mémoire au Luxembourg

Histoire du Luxembourg

sites of memory of Luxembourg

Cultural informations in Luxembourg

Ministry of Tourism

Youth Hostels Luxembourg

Grand-Duchy of Luxemburg
Website of the National Tourist Office.
Environment Portal

ACL Luxembourg
Automobile Club of Luxembourg.
National Library

Luxembourgish language

Culture in Luxembourg

Memory of Luxembourg Europe VI

Memory of Luxembourg Europe II

Memory of Luxembourg Europe VII

Memory of Luxembourg Europe III

Memory of Luxembourg Europe IV

Memory of Luxembourg Europe V

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