Discover Benelux, Issue 75, March 2020

Page 22

Witness human history transformed by nature TEXT: KATE HARVEY  |  PHOTOS: RUMELANGE

Seated on the French border, the town of Rumelange in southern Luxembourg plays a major role in the region’s industrial history. Here in the Minett region, nature and human life coexist beautifully, and the marks of its former mining past have in fact carved a picturesque space in the surroundings. Now, with a thriving community and endless leisure activities, it continues to welcome visitors from all over.

Dig deep into its geological origins Since the 19th century, Rumelange has welcomed workers and industrialists from all corners of Europe, eager to extract iron ore from the belly of the earth. Following the closure of its open cast mines during the 1970s, the landscape was left scarred by the remains of human activity. It didn’t 22  |  Issue 75  |  March 2020

take long, however, for nature to repair the wounds and pick up where humans left off; making way for a thick forested landscape in the surrounding Kayl Valley.

Unearth the mining history of Luxembourg Rumelange is also home to the National Mining Museum of Luxembourg, where you can opt for a guided tour of the industry that formed the backbone of the Red Rocks community. The on-site exhibition allows visitors to go deep down into the mine to see tools and machinery, alongside a presentation of the fossils and minerals found underground. Departing three times a day, visitors can embark on a mine train and descend into the depths of Rumelange’s past. Audio

guides are available in German, French, English and Dutch.

Industry and nature lovers unite Over time, the natural landscapes around the town have become increasingly protected, and are home to significant bird and wildlife populations. Indeed, it is even possible to retrace the geological past of the Lorraine basin, formed over 170 million years ago during the Triassic and Jurassic eras. The surprising harmony between nature and industry makes Rumelange a popular destination for walking, hiking and biking, among locals and tourists alike.

Challenge yourself in the great outdoors The nine-and-a-half-kilometre route around Rumelange, for example, will take