Luci - Issue 4 - English

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Luci

Inspiring Travel Stories from Luxembourg ISSUE 4 — ENGLISH

Faces of a district The fish market, like a village in the middle of the city

Esch2022 Capital of Culture Spirit of optimism in the Land of the Red Rocks

Out and about Dream loops, biosphere and bike adventures


Photo : © Boshua

Villa Vauban Musée d’Art de la Ville de Luxembourg

HIGHLIGHT 2022

01.07 > 09.10

John Constable’s English Landscapes

2022

Masterpieces from the Tate Collection

villavauban.lu MON - SUN 10 - 18:00 FRI 10 - 21:00 TUE closed


Editorial Moien and welcome to Luxembourg! What do you remember fondly when you return from travels? Beautiful landscapes, good food, friendly faces, exciting encounters? While producing the new Luci magazine, we met many people whose stories will hopefully inspire you as much they did us. Aside from the many highlights Luxembourg has to offer, it is often the places that are inconspicuous at first glance – a small souvenir shop, a restaurant or an art gallery – where people have a lot to tell. In this edition, we take to country life and stay on a farm, we meet an iconic Luxembourg filmmaker to talk about his life’s work, and immerse ourselves in Luxembourg’s cultural scene, which has much to stimulate us in the year of Esch2022. It is through encounters like these that you can get to know many of the facets and endearing idiosyncrasies of Luxembourg. And one thing is certain: great travel memories are always included. Enjoy reading and see you soon in Luxembourg!

Romain Weber President Luxembourg for Tourism

Dr. Sebastian Reddeker CEO Luxembourg for Tourism

PS: Did you miss the first editions of Luci? Order it for free online at www.luci.travel and we’ll deliver even more inspiring Luci moments to your door.

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Content

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The Good Life FACES OF FËSCHMAART

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A bespoke neighbourhood 20-23

The Good Life FILMLAND LUXEMBURG

Sharp observer, gentle rebel 26-39

Daydream HIDDEN PLACES AND WINDING ROADS

No ordinary love 40-45

The Good Life STEINFORT, THE GOURMAND

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The terroir on the plate 46-63

Transforming Experiences

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ESCH2022 CAPITAL OF CULTURE

Wild little sister 64-71

Daydream MINETT UNESCO BIOSPHERE

Man and the Biosphere

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


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Transforming Experiences REMEMBRANCE AND TRAVEL

Remember, understand, hope 88-93

The Good Life HOTEL AND TOURISM SCHOOL EHTL

Hospitality school 94-97

The Good Life FROM THE FIELD TO THE VINEYARD

The secret of the golden vine 98-107

Outdoors Passion DREAM LOOPS PREMIUM TRAILS

Dream on

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108-111

The Good Life FARM STAY HOLIDAYS

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Naturally good 112-121

Outdoors Passion GRAVEL BIKE ADVENTURES

Mad(e) for cycling 122

Impressum

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The Good Life FACES OF FËSCHMAART

A bespoke neighbourhood The fish market or “Fëschmaart” has always been a lively merchant district. It began with fish and spices, and continues today with handmade goods made to measure. The Fëschmaart is a village in the city, shaped and brought to life by dedicated merchants and restaurateurs. Text LILLY HÜTTER Photos PANCAKE!

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


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Friends of classic fashion will find craftsmanship and handicraft par excellence in these shops: “Basics & Bespoke_The Chap” outfits gentlemen as they did at the beginning of the 20th century, and at “Chapette” right next door, ladies will find the right stylish wardrobe beyond short-lived trends.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


“Chapette” is a poem of harmonious colours and shapes and high-quality fabrics. In the studio, which is by no means a hidden back room but an open show room of craftsmanship, Povilas Zaleskis spreads out patterns. The Lithuanian-born tailor is a graphic designer and amateur photographer.

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Mustafa Solak has created a vintage lover’s paradise with Kaale Kaffi: second-hand books ranging from novels to nonfiction are stacked next to and on the tables, the walls are almost wallpapered with colourful pictures, from oil paintings to drawings. Everything is for sale.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


Sylvie Thoma has been holding the fort at the “Fëschmaart” for over 40 years. She greets passersby with a friendly “Moien!” while adjusting a small keychain outside her souvenir shop Butteck Um Fëschmaart. The keychain opens like a fanfold and shows the most beautiful views of the Grand Duchy. Its design probably hasn’t changed since the 1980s. That’s what makes Sylvie’s shop so delightful. Here you’ll find true vintage items that will stir up memories of travels with parents and grandparents.

The village in the city “I have many regular customers and even mail them souvenirs from Luxembourg,” says Sylvie. She has also been making “Péckvillchen”, the famous birdshaped, ceramic whistles, since 1982. Every year with a different motif. She sells the whistles year-round and of course also at the traditional pottery market “Emaischen” that takes place on Easter Monday in the old city. Sylvie loves Luxembourgish traditions. She considers selling Luxembourgish souvenirs an honour, a perspective she already had in her mid-20s when she opened her shop here in 1979. “‘Fëschmaart’ has always been a village in the city. That’s what makes it special,” she explains. People know each other and chat to each other a lot. Even the Grand Duke drops in from time to time. “A lovely person. The whole family is wonderful,” she says.

It’s a hub that attracts people, from politicians to merchants, travellers to locals. It is not far from the casemates, the fortifications carved out of the rock. Formerly the crossroads of two Roman roads, the “Fëschmaart” is part of the historic centre of the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first markets were held on the forecourt of the Counts Castle over 1000 years ago. The narrow streets were a hub economic and social activity. Today, the “Fëschmaart” is home to the National Museum of History and Art (Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art –

MNHA), the seat of the State Council and St. Michael’s church, which is over a thousand years old.

St. Michael’s old clock Until 2011 St. Michael’s was home to Franciscan nuns who cared for people in need and were an integral part of the community. Today, St. Michael’s is the oldest church in the city and a source of peace and quiet in an otherwise lively neighbourhood. It blends Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque influences, bearing witness to the

The “Fëschmaart”, formerly the intersection of two Roman roads, is the historical centre of Luxembourg’s old town. The district boasts a gastronomic island with down-to-earth and hearty offerings, as well as refined.

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In the Casino Display, young artists present their works, ranging from paintings to video installations — a fresh artistic approach to the “Fëschmaart” that once again shows that tradition and modernity belong together here.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


The Casino Display is far more than just an exhibition space, it is a residence. “The artists also live here,” says associate curator Nadina Faljic, who is showing the exhibition to visitors that day. Artists-in-residence use the space to experiment and explore their artistic skills. 13


city’s colourful history. The entrance features an eye-catching display case with an impressive clockwork on a wooden base. This clock ticked and chimed in the church tower from 1902 until the mid-twentieth century. Visitors can now admire the former mechanical heart of the church up close. “And that’s wonderful, because it’s the only church clock of this size you can see up close in Luxembourg,” says Georges Jungblut, a master watchmaker. Georges and his wife Nadine run a jewellery store in the Fëschmaart district. Commissioned by the Old Town Committee, he spent 400 hours restoring the clock in 2019.

Savoir vivre and craftsmanship Visit Hans Fellner’s gallery to take a journey into the past. Modern Luxembourgish art is displayed in winding nooks and crannies that lead deep into the belly of the city. “Essentially, this is the former geographic epicentre of the fish market,” says Fellner, gallery owner and urban sociologist. It was important to him to balance old and new when he renovated the rooms made of soft sandstone. “Generally speaking, we continuously face and have to grapple with our history here in the old city neighbourhood,” he explains.

Since 1982, Sylvie Thoma of the souvenir shop “Butteck Um Fëschmaart” has been potting small ceramic pipes in the shape of birds, the famous Péckvillercher, with a new pattern every year. The pipes can be bought from her all year round, and of course at the traditional pottery “Emaischen” market, which always takes place on Easter Monday in the old town.

Next door you’ll find an art gallery run by Alex Reding and his wife Véronique Nosbaum. The art historian and sculptor likes the historic location, which is so lively at the same time. “This place is not only culturally exciting but also beautiful and full of life. There are great restaurants and bistros that are open late into the night,” says the art lover, who also runs a gallery in Brussels.

Stylishly tailored Fans of classic fashion will find craftsmanship and needlework par excellence at “Chapette”. Latvian-born, Povilas Zaleskis is a tailor, graphic designer and hobby photographer. Since the ten years he has been together with his wife, who works for the EU institutions, Luxembourg is his adopted home. “I love how peaceful it is here. My five children are growing up in an international country and can learn many languages. It’s ideal,” he says. He likes the shop’s concept and simply approached Pascal Zimmer for a job. Simple, neighbourly, village-like. Across the street, you’ll find interior decorating shop “Création d’Ambiances” that sells beautiful fabrics made to order. Owners Paola Von Habsburg-Lothringen and Marisca de Changy have been running the store for over 15 years, ensuring their customers find the right curtains, lamp shades and upholstery. “We have many regular customers, both in Luxembourg and abroad. We also ship a lot of items,” explains Paola von Habsburg-Lothringen. The spacious workshop upstairs

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


In his salon, Vito d’Attoma celebrates diversity: each room boasts its own design, from quirky urban art to cosy floral romance. “The neighbourhood here is simply special!” he says with conviction.

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Hôtel Parc Beaux-Arts owner Marcel Goeres is an “old hand” in the hotel business in Luxembourg, full of passion and humanity, always keen to develop new concepts to share his love of the country and the city with everyone. 16

LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


In the restaurant “D’Gëlle Klack” (The Golden Bell) in the Hôtel Parc Beaux-Arts, guests are served delicately sliced ham for breakfast, ceremoniously carved in the middle of the dining area. Mouthwatering, indeed!

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is used to sew and upholster. “All of this happens here, in the centre of the city,” says Paola, proudly. “In this whole street, everything is somehow made to measure,” adds the interior designer, smiling.

Just like a living room Hair stylist Vito d’Attoma also loves the local vibe. He was born in Luxembourg but his family is originally from Perugia, Italy. He has spent his entire career in the Fëschmaart district. “The neighbourhood is special. It represents the traditional side of Luxembourg, and the merchants are like family,” he says, wielding a comb. Across the street, art restorer and owner of vintage café “Kaale Kaffi”,

Mustafa Solak agrees. For the Turkish-born art restorer, who studied in Florence, opening this café is a dream come true. “My concept is “vintage and more!” This is a place of fresh perspectives. Many people work or read here during the day. It’s a bit like a living room,” says Mustafa, serving a juicy orange cake. A glance around the room confirms this. And in the glow of the old-fashioned lamps, everyone is smiling. Wellness and cosy pampering are also à la carte at the Hôtel Parc Beaux-Arts, a small, comfy hotel with around a dozen suites. It is filled with art mainly by Luxembourgish artists. Three townhouses that are over 300 years old were melded into one to form the hotel. “Everything was redone. It was a lot of work,” says owner Marcel

Saint Michael’s, the oldest sacred building in the city, is a point of tranquillity in the bustling quarter. Its combination of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture confirms its position as a long-standing witness to the city’s eventful history.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

Goeres. He is a veteran of the Luxembourg hotel industry, full of passion and humanity. He likes coming up with new ideas to share his love of the country and the city. The Hôtel Parc Beaux-Arts has been a safe haven in the old town since 2005. Come for the inspiring boutique hotel ambiance and warm, genial staff. Marcel Goeres enjoys his “Wäinzoossiss” on a traditional “Old Luxembourg” plate. The well-known white and blue Villeroy & Boch crockery used to be manufactured in the capital’s Rollingergrund neighbourhood. “Tradition is everything,” says Marcel Goeres. “We value local production.”

Artistic rejuvenation The Casino Display is a breath of fresh air. Formerly known as the “Konschthaus Beim Engel”, its origins trace back to the Middle Ages. Today, it is a place for young artists to exhibit their work, from paintings to video installations. “Artists live here,” says Nadina Faljic, associate curator. She shows visitors around the exhibit. Artists-inresidence use the rooms to experiment and explore their artistic skills. What do neighbourhood veterans think of the new art house? “They are mostly taken aback, because they only know it from before the renovation, with old tiles and it was completely different,” says Nadina. But then they realise the joy of what is on: an artistic rejuvenation of the “Fëschmaart” that proves once again that tradition and modernity belong together here.


For the two gallery owners Alex Reding and Hans Fellner, the quarter offers “a unique combination of joie de vivre, culture and high-quality craftsmanship”.

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The Good Life FILMLAND LUXEMBOURG

Sharp observer, gentle rebel Andy Bausch has been one of Luxembourg’s best-known directors for several decades now. A bedrock of the scene, with a big heart and a great sense of humour. With firm roots in the country, he always has both feet on the ground. Text BIRGIT PFAUS-RAVIDA

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Photos MIKE ZENARI

LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


His signature style is a leather jacket complete with patina, accessorised with a worn baseball cap, silver beard and an alert gaze behind his glasses. His mission? Simply to make good films. Films that Luxembourg needs. At the right moment, the right time and in the right place. Andy Bausch has been a fixture of the cultural landscape ever since the 1980s. And even more than that: he is a cult figure. His best-known works include the cinema films “Troublemaker” and “Le Club des Chômeurs” with Thierry van Werveke, “A Wopbopaloobop A Lopbamboom” with Desirée Nosbusch and „Rusty Boys“ with André Jung, Marco Lorenzini, Fernand Fox, Pol Greisch and other ‘subversive seniors’. He also has countless television productions, short films and documentaries to his name. Today, he’s drinking Picon beer in Interview, one of his favourite cafés. Andy lives in the station quarter and arrived by tram. “Car, driving licence? I don’t need them. I’ve always lived in cities,” he says with a grin. It turns out that Andy Bausch is actually a pioneer, always choosing the sustainable transport option. A man greets him, claps him on the shoulder. “Andy, how are you? Are you no longer in the south anymore?”. Andy grew up in the south, in Dudelange, but he has made his home in the capital for over 40 years. And he is, it seems, a vibrant part of the country’s collective cultural consciousness that everyone is proud of: “Andy’s beer is on me!”, calls the man to the bar staff.

“During the pandemic, I actually became a bit of a hermit, tidied up a lot, made an inventory, went through old records, pictures and books. I’m a closet bookmaker. And I have to say, my ideas have always come to me when I’m in a quiet room,” says Andy Bausch. The Luxembourg film scene is his home, but it’s so much more than that: he gave it life. “There wasn’t that much culture going on in Luxembourg back then, so you were almost forced to do it yourself!”, he reminisces.

Self-taught cinema fanatic Obsessed by cinema and selftaught, once a huge fan of the USA and still a music lover, he started off by taking photos when bands performed on stage. His first films were also music films – live performances “set to music from records because the sound was so bad,” recalls Andy, grinning. “I earned some of my money doing

other jobs in order to be able to afford to do film making,” he says. Then along came the first Super 8 camera strips and with it, his first long film: “When the Music’s Over” in 1981. A film about a band that couldn’t get out of their rehearsal room because they were so stoned. Over the years, it has been the broken, strong and also lost characters that have fascinated Andy Bausch the most and to whom he has given a platform in his films. Two unsuccessful bank robbers in „Troublemaker“ (1988), unemployed steel workers in “Club des Chômeurs” (2003): it is precisely these types who capture the hearts of viewers and become cult figures.

Whether it’s Picon-beer or coffee: Andy Bausch likes to be at “Interview” café-bar in the heart of the capital.

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In both films, character Thierry van Werveke plays the leading role, but originally only wanted to be the cable carrier, recollects Andy Bausch. “But I wanted him to be an actor!”. And boy, was it worth it. The film, mainly set in jail and filmed in the then empty Neumünster Abbey, hit a nerve. And his next film after „Troublemaker“ was also a success: A „Wopbopaloobop a Lopbamboom“ (with a title inspired by Little Richard’s hit, „Tutti Frutti“) in 1989 with Desirée

Food for thought: When you stand up, you bang your head here. “It’s been happening to me for over 40 years!” says Andy with a laugh.

Nosbusch won several film awards. “Perhaps my best film,” says Andy Bausch. The rebellious, penniless senior citizens in „Rusty Boys“ (2017) are also close to his heart.

Film history continues There is now a wide range of Andy Bausch films to choose from. For many years, he worked in Esch-surAlzette and also with the Kulturfabrik cultural centre – “Back then, everyone who was anything to do with culture was involved there in some form or another!” – but also made television films in Germany with Richy Müller, Claude-Oliver Rudolph, Otto Sander and other acting greats for ten years following a successful production with Mario Adorf. Today, back in Luxembourg, Andy Bausch is a director of feature films, documentaries, television films and advertising films. His next big project is the film „Little Duke“, which he will shoot in spring 2022. Once again, the film will be about the rough-and-tumble characters: the dramatic comedy tells the story of two ageing, destitute friends who have to struggle to survive in rich, expensive Luxembourg. On set will be the actors André Jung, Luc Feit, Marco Lorenzini and Valérie Bodson. The film history of and with Andy Bausch is not over. There’s no stopping him: he’s already flirting with the idea of a biography that will certainly include his family. After all, as Andy himself says: “I’m a filmmaker and I’ve always been a bit of a recluse, but above all I’m a father of four children, and that’s at least as important.”

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

Films about Luxembourg Experience Luxembourg in all its facets: more film tips from the Centre national de l’audiovisuel (CNA) director Paul Lesch. www.cna.lu  Luxembourg in the Second World War, the human side: “Schacko Klak” by Paul Kieffer and Frank Hoffmann (1990).  What was life like after the war? “Eng nei Zäit” by Christophe Wagner (2015).  What made Luxembourg tick in the 1960s? “Perl oder Pica” by Pol Cruchten (2006).  Bourgeoisie, drugs and nightlife at the end of the 1980s: “Hochzäitsnuecht” by Pol Cruchten (1992).  A youth in Luxembourg (film adaptation of the novel Amok by Tullio Forgiarini): “Baby(a)lone” by Donato Rotunno (2015).  Luxembourg’s favourite detective in a checked cap who gets his superpowers from traditional cooked cheese: “Superjhemp retörns” by Félix Koch (2018).  Rural Luxembourg, a thriller with fantasy elements: “Gutland” by Govinda Van Maele (2017).


© PATRICIA PERIBÁÑEZ

© FRAME ART/RATTLESNAKE

The king of dramatic rock opera: Andy Bausch in 2016 during the filming of the short film “Freddie” about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

The fractured characters excite Andy Bausch. The director during the shooting of “Rusty Boys” (2017): “Old boys” forming a flat share.

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Daydream HIDDEN PLACES AND WINDING ROADS

No ordinary love Everyone who has a passion for cars, has this aspiring dream: the Mercedes 300 SL. A very special model was on the road for a 12,000-kilometre voyage across Europe. Its owners are from Luxembourg, and they also drove through the heart of the Grand Duchy. Text BIRGIT PFAUS-RAVIDA Photos PANCAKE!

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


Mersch

Schoenfels Blaschette

Bourglinster

Steinsel Niederanven Walferdange Senningerberg Munsbach

Luxembourg City

Contern

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The Mercedes 300 SL makes a stop in the tranquil countryside of Luxembourg. Its owners Tina and Jean-Marc value it as a faithful companion over thousands of kilometres. A matt silver film protects the originally shiny black paintwork. Soon, the couple plan to drive over 20,000 kilometres across North America.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


As the gull-winged car rolls through the streets, with its matt gloss and full-bodied sound, mobile phones are pulled out; people applaud, wave, laugh, some acquire a dreamy look. A Mercedes 300 SL leaves no one indifferent. The hinge-doors open and out step the proud car owners, Tina and JeanMarc. This silver legend on wheels, built in 1955, is a dream come true for the couple who acquired it in 2019. But the car is more than “just” a 300 SL. It is precisely fine-tuned for Tina and Jean-Marc to drive long distances. The original black, glossy varnish is protected by a matt, silver film. The space constraints are solved by a luggage rack and aluminium suitcases on the rear. “You always needs to carry enough spare parts to maintain the original technology”, says JeanMarc. Newly upholstered sports seats with seat belts from the scrap yard provide more safety than the original dark red leather seats. A middle console provides storage space and numerous other technical gadgets can be found, visible or hidden.

To the North Cape “The sporty look goes down well with classic car fans and you get to strike up a conversation with people”, Tina laughs. The native from Stuttgart takes a sip of her cappuccino at the Légère Hotel in Schuttrange where the couple will start their journey through the centre of Luxembourg. “We wanted a car that suits us, not one to showcase. We need a reliable car, because we mainly drive long distances.” To be precise: 12,000 km

across Europe including a visit to the North Cape. The couple spent six weeks on the road in their dream car. Jean-Marc is a trained mechanic who refurbishes racing cars amongst many other things in Luxembourg, and competes in motorbike races. Tine is a passionate car fan, and they both allow plenty of space and time to spend together in their motor vehicle. Soon they will drive over 20,000 kilometres through North America.

by the „Lëtzeburger Rousefrënn Association“ in collaboration with the Schuttrange commune on a piece of land at the foot of the castle and is open to the public. The flowers are in bloom for the last time this year, and Tina and Jean-Marc go for a walk in front of the romantic white building. Which is more beautiful: roses or cars?

Back to the present, the 300 SL is to conquer beautiful Luxembourg. A cool autumn morning, the foliage is coloured golden and red. The rose garden surrounding Munsbach Castle is not far from Schuttrange. It was created in 2017

The next stop is totally different. They drive a few hundred metres along the Rollfeld Airport in Senningberg, then get out in the parking lot of a shooting range. An aeroplane almost seems to brush the trees on its approach, and the

Gunshots fired at the “lost place”

The rose garden around Munsbach Castle is the ideal romantic setting for a walk to break up the car tour.

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A real lost place in the middle of Luxembourg: the old zoo of Senningen. Today there are no more animals: the zoo has been abandoned since the 1980s. The old pigeon lofts are still there, a lonely outhouse, a wrought-iron gate that leads nowhere. Walls and steps, everything is overgrown with moss and ivy.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


The charm of the ephemeral and the past fascinates the two Mercedes drivers. Where birds used to chirp in the little houses, leaves now gather. Nevertheless, it is beautiful. Or precisely because of that. 31


next moment there is a bang: target practice for the shooters. Better duck slightly! A few steps away is a barrier, opposite a run-down, low, white building. Welcome to the ticket office of the former Senningen Zoo. “I was here once as a young child, it must have been in the mid-1960s,” Jean-Marc remembers. Animals are no longer found here. The zoo was abandoned in the 1980s. A real lost place in the middle of Luxembourg. “Totally fascinating!” says Tina excitedly. The old pigeon lofts remain, a lonely outhouse, a wrought-iron gate that no longer leads anywhere. Walls and steps are all overrun by moss and ivy. Is that the sound of an animal? No, the roar belongs to the next approaching aeroplane.

Charly’s hidden tracks

and takes his arm with hers. A snack at the Owstellgleis brasserie beckons.

Steinsel, where juicy fruit awaits them on the hill. The SL elegantly scales the steep narrow road.

The Stone Age draws near

No petty theft in fruit paradise

Now the plot thickens again. The Neolithic-aged town of Blaschette is hidden in the forest. Jean-Marc parks his 300 SL on the roadside as the road is too bumpy to the Maison Néolithique. A dark, oblong, thatched, wooden house emerges. In front of it, a circle of menhirs. “This is Luxembourg’s Stonehenge!” Tina exclaims. Had the car stood here in the middle of the stones, extra-terrestrials would most certainly come to beam it to their planet as a a showpiece from Earth. With more time, you could practise meditation here. Or have a barbecue next to the stone circle. But the drivers want to move on to

Juicy apples among yellow leaves hang from the trees in the Steinsel Apple Orchards. The Mercedes pulls up in front of the gate. You can pick apples here in autumn and pay for them afterwards at a wooden stall. The rustic wheelbarrows for the harvest form an amusing contrast to the silver automatic car. But the orchard also has a long-standing tradition: “We have been here for forty years,” Diederik Collas says. Many people from Luxembourg as well as visitors make use of the walk through the orchard in autumn to pick fruit. Apart from apples there are pears and plums. “That suits us, as during

Past and present are also a topic at the next stop. Alongside gentle curves and under autumn-coloured trees Charlys Gare in Niederanven comes into sight. The former railway station of the legendary narrow-gauge railway Charly is nicely restored. However, trains no longer run between Luxembourg and Echternach, the tracks have disappeared, the route has been tarred. Nowadays, you can cycle here or simply take a walk, let your gaze wander from the small terrace over the beautiful view towards the city. “I was born and brought up in the capital, not far away. But I am not familiar with this area at all. I really like it here!” says globetrotter Jean-Marc appreciatively. “There are lovely places everywhere, you just have to find them!” says Tina with a smile

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

The Neolithic village of Blaschette – or as Tina says “the Luxembourg Stonehenge!” – is hidden in the forest. In front of the long, thatched wooden house is the circle of menhirs.


The Mercedes stops in front of “Charly’s Gare”. The former station of the legendary narrow-gauge railway “Charly” is nicely renovated. Trains between Luxembourg City and Echternach no longer run, the tracks have disappeared, the line is tarred. Today you can cycle here, go for a walk - or enjoy original Luxembourg specialities in the Owstellgleis brasserie just opposite.

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At the “Mèchelsplaz” in Mersch stands the statue of the dragon with the seven prongs — one for each of the seven castles. Pick up tourist information from the “Alen Tuerm” (right next door) and hit the road.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


The dragon is on the one hand a symbol for the Valley of the Seven Castles, on the other hand also the guardian who keeps an eye on the tower next door. The eleven coats of arms of the canton are depicted on the dragon. The bronze sculpture is by the artist Paul Eyschen. 35


View from the side window: Schoenfels Castle, consisting solely of the massive sandstone keep, was built in the 13th century. It is one of seven castles in the valley of the same name, through which many scenic roads lead.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


Only 15 kilometres from the capital, set in beautiful countryside, you can visit a number of remarkable buildings, some of which have been fully restored, in what is known as the Valley of the Seven Castles. The seven castles are located in Koerich, Septfontaines, Ansembourg, Hollenfels, Schoenfels (photo) and Mersch. 37


Stops along the way  For more archaeological treats head to Mersch to find a restored roman villa and a menhir. www.mersch.lu  At the Muller-Lemmer Distillery you can experience the regional production of fine brandies made from local fruit, and even taste a drop or two. Seasonally produced fruit and vegetables originate directly from Muller Lemmer, a sixth-generation family business. www.mullerlemmer.lu  Fancy another tempting stopover? The overflowing shelves of the Chocolate House by Nathalie Bonn in Mersch, beckon. Cake, tarts, chocolate – whether hot or cold – but also hearty specialities provide good fuel for the onward journey. www.chocolate-house-bonn.lu

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the day we usually only eat a snack, and we save a warm meal for after the trip, at the end of the day,” says Tina and bites into a Golden Delicious.

Seven castles, seven prongs It has started to rain. The large sandstone tower of Schoenfels Castle, which consists only of this keep, looks somewhat bleak in front of the grey skies. Nonetheless: its cuboid-like structure is fascinating. You can walk around the tower and get a breath of fresh air in the middle of the countryside. Schoenfels Castle, built in the 13th century, is one of seven castles in

Juicy apples hang from the trees in the Steinsel Apple Orchards. Many Luxembourgers and visitors take advantage of the walk through the plantation in autumn to pick the best fruit for themselves. Besides apples, there are pears and plums.

LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

the valley with the same name, through which many other scenic car routes lead. Mersch also belongs to The Valley of the Seven Castles. Today the municipality is housed in Mersch Castle. It is worth taking a walk around: roses are in bloom, and there is an eye-catching tower with an onion dome roof on Mechelsplatz. Tourist information is available inside; outside a dragon with seven prongs decorates the square. One for each castle in The Valley of Seven Castles.

Chocolate: a matter of the heart The penultimate stop for the 300 SL and its crew is Chocolats du Coeur in Walferdange. Here, fine chocolate and other specialities are sold, which are produced in protected workshops by people with disabilities. The Ateliers du Tricentenaire produce pralines amongst other things. “I love pralines!” enthuses Jean-Marc, and they both take a small selection with them and continue to the Hostellerie Staffelter just around the corner. This is where the couple end their day in comfort. Beaune can be seen on the map above the lounge chairs, the place in Burgundy where they ended their European summer tour. What a wonderful coincidence! The tour through Luxembourg also comes to an end this evening. Jean-Marc and Tina can see their 300 SL from the restaurant, their own personal dream with butterfly doors. Singer Sade’s voice sounds softly through the restaurant: “This is no ordinary love!”


In the Hostellerie Stafelter in Walferdange, in the valley of the Alzette, the couple end the day in comfort. Besides a gastronomic restaurant, there is a modern hotel with eight rooms in a modern and familiar setting.

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The Good Life STEINFORT, THE GOURMAND

The terroir on the plate 40

LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


In the gastronomy scene of the commune of Steinfort, the concept of “terroir” and seasonal cuisine are of central importance. Two chefs, just thirty years old, want to challenge the status quo. They are pushing boundaries... and to great effect. Text FRANCK DALL Photos HADRIEN FRIOB

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Mathieu Van Wetteren focuses on what is natural and simple in order to concentrate on the essentials.

In 2017, Mathieu opened his restaurant “Apdikt”, which, as the name suggests, is located in a former pharmacy.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


Representing the same generation, Thomas Murer and Mathieu Van Wetteren opened their restaurants a year apart. Mathieu’s “Apdikt” came first, in 2017, and as its name suggests, it is located in a former pharmacy. He has fun with this theme, and the decor includes old glass flacons, chests of drawers, and green tiles to which he adds antique lighting, tables made from old train car doors, and hand-made plates and bowls. At the end of 2018, “An der Villa” by Thomas Murer followed, located in the Villa Collart. The two chefs know and like each other. They do not hesitate to send each other customers when their restaurants are full, and to share intel about where to get their hands on good products.

In tune with nature We find the two “in the garden” one October morning when the mist is slow to lift over the fields. The herb garden is a haven founded in 2016 by Claude Petit, Max Epstein, and Jean-Marc Parries, who are trained in botany, agronomy, landscape ecology, and the environment. The last the summer vegetables have been harvested, giving way to autumn and its earthy delights: swedes, Jerusalem artichokes, kohlrabi, turnips, and marrows. For both chefs, it is vital to remain close to the products and the seasonality: “We must listen to nature, and this is what these vegetable farmers do, with a real philosophy to their approach,”

said Thomas, loading crates of vegetables that he will include on the week’s menu.

Respect for vegetables Beginning his apprenticeship at the age of 14 in his native Alsace, Thomas trained at some great restaurants: “Jean-Luc Brendel of La Table du Gourmet, a Michelin-starred restaurant, gave me a love of plants and introduced me to vinegar and its subtleties. At Haeberlin of L’Auberge de L’Ill, which at the time had three Michelin stars, I was able to work with great products, in a classic and respectful way. With Patrick Jeffroy in Brittany, then two Michelin stars at the time but retired since 2019, I discovered my respect for vegetables,” he said. Thomas developed his passion for gourmet cuisine, but, moving

in his own direction, he opted to leave the pressure of Michelin stars to offer a simpler menu, his sights set on so-called bistronomy: “Working as though in a bistro, but with gourmet quality, and remaining accessible to a many people without making any compromises on quality.” In order to succeed at this, you have to be inventive and bold: “Dare to use the less noble parts of animals and make them interesting through cooking, marinating, and accompaniments. But also, work with the entire product while throwing away as little as possible. We must always challenge ourselves.” Cabbage fermented with cumin caramel is on the menu at the moment: a nod to Thomas’s home region, plus a twist with new flavours. “Sourcing the products is half the job,” confirmed Mathieu, who “does not want to cut corners on

The Krautgaart, not far from Thomas Murer’s und Mathieu Van Wetteren’s restaurants, is an innovative no-dig vegetable farm that grows a wide variety of produce without using artificial fertilizers or chemical pesticides.

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quality, whether for a carrot or a Norway lobster. The simpler the product, the better it should be.” He also chooses to source locally as much as possible and, for example, to elevate common river fish such as trout and pikeperch, which are not often used in gourmet cooking.

Never tired of learning and beeing exposed to other cultures, the Luxembourger often travels to Japan (where he acquired a custom-made knife) and Scandinavian countries. “I want to continue to allow myself to go away several times a year, to keep discovering and improving.’

“I spend a lot of time with producers in the area to find as many local products as possible. I look for products that have flavour and that can be served on their own, because my cooking is pretty minimalist.” For instance, his daily special uses fermented plums, or revisits the mashed potatoes with buttermilk from his childhood. “Techniques like smoking, fermenting, aging, pickling, using vinegars... these are not to show off, they are ways of bringing emotion, of diving into memories,” he said.

For Thomas, it’s about “refocusing on the right product at the right price.” To that end, he has recently switched from offering menus to simply displaying a blackboard that lists the day’s dishes based on market availabilities.

Keep learning, keep moving Mathieu also started young: “When I was 14, to buy myself a PlayStation, I worked in the kitchen and discovered this universe. I got hooked, and I never left,” he recalled. He has gained experience at several places. “At Wohlfahrt, a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the Black Forest, I learnt rigour. At Yves Mattagne, a one-star sea grill in Brussels that has since closed, I learnt how to cook meat and fish.” Without a doubt the chef who influenced Mathieu the most is Sergio Herman at Jane in Antwerp, known for his exacting standards and bold pairings.

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Awakening feelings Both chefs agree when it comes to one thing: the importance of their teams. “I want to make sure that my people are happy. Working in harmony with my staff, enjoying my family, staying healthy…” said the chef of “An der Villa”. “I’m so lucky to have a small team that I can count on.” “Their well-being, their work rhythm, and respecting everyone’s voice are as important as what goes on the plate,” added the other. A meal is not only what you eat and when you eat it. It is the memory that you keep and the impression it leaves. In Steinfort, these chefs make sure that the emotions they create will make you want to come back.

LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

Seasonal terroir cuisine New concepts, fresh ideas: attentive gastronomy in Luxembourg.  “Apdikt” www.restaurantapdikt.lu  “An der Villa” www.andervilla.lu  In the restaurant “La Table de Frank”, Chef Frank Steffen serves fresh delicacies “from the butcher straight to the plate”. www.latabledefrank.lu  “De Gudde Maufel”: Chef Frank Manes reinterprets traditional Luxembourgish cuisine in an exciting new way. www.guddemaufel.lu  “Aal Schoul”: In the restaurant of the wellknown butcher Guy Kirsch, high-quality beef is the order of the day! www.aal-schoul.lu  Luxembourg’s earth meets France’s sea: “Le Jardin de la Gaichel” by Breton Erwan Guillou. www.lagaichel.lu  “De Bräiläffel” was founded by Aloyse Jacoby, formerly head of the national cooking team. Today, a beer sommelier is also part of the team. www.hoteljacoby.lu


Thomas Murer’s restaurant “An der Villa” is located in the Villa Collart, the former residence of the owners of a metalworks factory which made the place famous at the turn of the last century.

Seasonal terroir cuisine requires a different approach: “You have to know plants, rediscover forgotten flavours, look for new solutions, listen to your instincts.”

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Transforming Experiences ESCH2022 CAPITAL OF CULTURE

Wild little sister The furnaces might be cold, but Esch-sur-Alzette is still hot! From rock concerts, street art and theatre to the continuous reinvention of industrial facilities, this town is an alternative insider tip! Text THOMAS JUTZLER

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

Photos PANCAKE!


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© ANDRÉ SCHÖSSER

Our Esch guide Chrissi, Volunteer Coordinator for Esch2022 is fortunately not afraid of heights. Here she is walking over the 110metre-long pedestrian bridge designed by the architectural firm Metaform, whose designs are also causing a sensation with their futuristic aesthetics at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. The bridge crosses the train tracks at the station at a lofty height. It connects the city grounds with the higher-lying Gaalgebierg park by lift.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


“My grandfather always told us work stories about fire-spewing dragons and steel monsters. He spoke of the incredible heat at the plant and the perpetual red shimmer reflected in the sky. Day and night. It was like a never-ending sunset. It was both beautiful and at the same time evidence of the hard labour men performed in the Minett region,” says Chrissi, who was born here. As she shares her story with us, we see the furnaces her grandfather so vividly described. We meet Chrissi at the Esch2022 office in the Belval district, where she works as a volunteer coordinator for the European Capital of Culture Esch2022.

Cold furnaces hot performances We are standing on the rooftop of the temporary offices and look out over the neighbourhood. Everything is in constant development here. Former industrial complexes turn into libraries, furnaces become sculptures. These days, rock bands performing amid the former furnaces get the heat sizzling. What a magnificent location for the Rockhal, Luxembourg’s biggest music venue!

dilapidation a morbidly beautiful sheen. You will find ultramodern buildings, the remains of old manor houses as well as beautifully renovated terraced houses in the city centre: a compelling mix of old and new, ramshackle and renovated.

Esch is cool Come and experience this ever-evolving, historical city in all its transitional splendour! Renovations and new construction permeate the city. The Capital of Culture atmosphere is extraordinary and yet “lost places” can still be found. We choose one of them to take photos of Chrissi. The background? Exposed brick and thick ivy branches. Above us? Pigeons squatting on the ruin’s top floor, cooing as they fly in and out of the windowless frames. Across the street, modern homes with glass balconies and under-

ground carparks. Around the corner, a brand-new youth hostel with a multicoloured facade. Between all the crazy architecture, we find the bustle of a population even more diverse than the rest of Luxembourg, thanks to generations of immigrants. Our guide leads us through a maze of graffiti-covered construction site fences and bistro tables spread out far into the pavements and pedestrian zone because of the

A not-so-familiar view of the blast furnaces. It’s worth going a little further around the corner. What is a building site, what remains? Not always immediately comprehensible. And that is precisely why it is so exciting.

For a change of scenery, we leave Belval and head to the centre of Luxembourg’s second biggest city. Esch-sur-Alzette is emblematic of a former mining region. Neighbourhoods are diverse. Some consist of former industry buildings converted into modern houses, others are working-class estates. Bygone prosperity melds with broken windows and straggling ivy, lending its progressive

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pandemic. A hubbub of French, German, Portuguese and English is the soundtrack to our walk. Children play in the water fountain in the main square.

on @icicestesch’s Instagram feed. Lāscār, the artist we contacted, responds quickly: “You’re looking for the “Bâtiment 4” exhibition.” Let’s go! Chrissi knows the way.

Art, culture and junk

“Bâtiment 4” is a collective exhibit and the sixth of its kind. It takes place in Esch once a year in buildings that are ready for demolition or in need of renovation. When we get there, the doors are closed. The trip is still worthwhile because the old villa is surround-

We spontaneously contact an artist on Instagram because we’re looking for a particular piece of art. We’re searching for a collage we found

ed by impressive artwork. Two small cars are welded together like entwined lovers. Paintings cover every wall and various sculptures are randomly scattered around the grass. A former training centre of the steel industry completes the tableau. It feels like a Bladerunner filmset. The original idea of wanting to keep pace with the times is still palpable in the remnants of a building considered modern sixty years ago. Located between Esch and Schifflange, it’s just another dilapidated building. We decide to come back in a few years to see how urban planners transform this huge plot.

Culture factory In EschBelval, a town is literally being turned upside down. Nestled into the former heavy industry complex are the modern buildings of the new university. The era of physical labour has morphed into the knowledge society and intellectual endeavour.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

Only a stone’s throw away, a transformation has already succeeded. Welcome to the Kulturfabrik! This former slaughterhouse is now home to local artists. The cultural centre supports local and regional artists, nurtures talent and creative work, and organises educational projects. It is also involved in transnational projects and committed to sustainability. The buildings are of course decked out in graffiti and house workshops, event rooms, an art gallery, a cinema, rehearsal space, a restaurant and a bar. No need to wait for a special occasion, like a performance or a vernissage, to visit this space. It is a colourful and dynamic artwork in itself! Maybe you’ll chat with the locals and contemplate the beauty of the world, the magic of innovation and upcycling. While sitting in front of a former slaughterhouse, enjoying a vegan burger.


Around the Kulturfabrik, or Kufa for short, creative works made in Luxembourg have been produced for decades. In the buildings of the former municipal slaughterhouse, you can find two event rooms, a gallery, a cinema, a brasserie, a bistro and rehearsal rooms on 4,500 square metres. Here you can meet creative minds like the director of the film “Super-GAU – The Last Days of Luxembourg”. Julien Becker was born in Esch, studied in Paris and today enjoys being a creative filmmaker in his home country. 51


© BENNY SCHILTZ

“Tatta Tom” (Auntie Tom) alias Tom Hecker reads fairy tales in front of the Esch library. The artistic figure is a permanent fixture on the Luxembourg cultural scene. And she has a mission: to rework well-known fairy tales for children and young people to address current issues such as tolerance and acceptance.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


Esch is a city where people come together. Esch is also a stronghold of openness and diversity. Once a year, the Luxembourg Pride Week takes place here, where the LGBTIQ+ community from home and abroad meets. 53


The city appears to be a favourite canvas for graffiti artists. There is quality street art around every corner and some across entire walls: classic lettering, black-and-white artworks as well as portraits.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


Two “old hands” of the sprayer scene have left their mark here. Stick and Spike literally work hand in hand. Their ideas and motifs complement and cross-fertilise each other and become, as here, a total work of art. The structure of the wall was deliberately incorporated. 55


Speaking of upcycling, we zigzag through the city and enter the world of Benu-Couture, a workshop that turns old clothes into modern fashion. Instead of simply selling second-hand clothes, this place creates entirely new collections. The workshop is located in a building made of old shipping containers. It is insulated with environmentally friendly materials like straw, wool and clay. The exterior was created by regional artists using natural and reused materials only. Across the street, the Benu village is being developed.

© MIKE ZENARI

Think outside the box

A breath of fresh air also in the patisserie world: colourful, shiny and unusual, the small, fine chocolate works by newcomer Lola Valerius. In her “glass production” in the centre of Esch, she gives visitors bright insights into her patisserie art. The young Esch native discovered her passion for it during her architecture studies in Vienna, when she baked cakes for her friends.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

We can’t believe our eyes: in a back courtyard, containers are stacked like Lego. The rendering is made of reed. Beams are made of recycled timber from buildings demolished on nearby construction sites. It’s a textbook circular economy. In essence, a gigantic Villa Villekulla. A new, second-hand creation. Doors, windows, railings: all made of different shapes and colours, all second-hand. Scrap and natural materials only. To complete this motley creation, a restaurant using exclusively “rescued” food is planned. That is, food with supposed aesthetic flaws that commercial chains don’t want. Twin cucumbers and pale aubergines are welcome here in Benu village where everything is crooked and warped anyway.


The Konschthal in Esch is a public space for the international avant-garde of contemporary art. Exhibitions and events take place here. The municipality bought the former furniture store; this shows the high value placed on culture in Esch-sur-Alzette. The artist Charles Wennig guides visitors through a current exhibition here. 57


In the Benu-Couture workshop, old clothes are turned into new fashion. Instead of simply selling second-hand fashion, completely new collections are designed here. Garments “with a history” serve as the basis, either from old clothing collections or because they were brought by a client for reworking.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


The name Benu is based on the English words “Be New”. Benu is also a bird in Egyptian mythology, a predecessor of the phoenix. This bird appears as a logo on all the products in the village. In contrast to its Greek relative the phoenix, the Benu does not burn up in flight, but circles the universe once over. So, the perfect eco cycle and the Benu have a lot in common. 59


The interior of the Escher Theatre provides the ideal setting for great acting. It is intimate but not cramped, with an almost mystical aura. With its dark colour scheme, the space allows the action and the protagonists to take precedence. The programme of the guest performance and production theatre is characterised by a wide variety of languages, because the audience also comes from beyond the country’s borders.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


“We want to see theatre in a new way and rely on a multi-disciplinary approach. Our concept of theatre is broad,” says director Carole Lorang, talking to technical director Patrick Moses. Her team is young and dynamic, and international contacts enrich the discourse and the programme. 61


In the cult bar Pitcher, the wood-panelled walls are covered with American memorabilia. Rapper Corbi appreciates the atmosphere. He does “old school hip hop”; New York school in Luxembourgish.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


 Total art: the Konschthal is a public space for contemporary art. In the rooms of the former furniture store, exhibitions extend over several floors. They showcase contemporary art from Germany and abroad. www.konschthal.lu  The Kulturfabrik, or Kufa for short, aims to be an engaging meeting place and is open to the public, artists and associations. Its programme is diverse: concerts, festivals, theatre, cinema, educational projects, literature, residences for artists and more. www.kulturfabrik.lu  An artists’ residence: In the “Bridderhaus”, the former hospital of the Minett metropolis, up to 17 artists will live and work for up to one year. There will be seven flats, art studios, a kitchen as well as administration, meeting and community rooms. A real creative residence in the heart of the 2022 Capital of Culture. www.esch2022.lu  The youth hostel in Esch offers an overnight stay in a young and cool atmosphere, right next to the railway station. It is also an architectural highlight. Its façade with its different shades of red is reminiscent of the “Land of the Red Rocks”. www.youthhostels.lu

© ANDRÉ SCHÖSSER

On tour in Esch

Even if not all of Esch is committed to zero waste, the whole region still feels like a monumental upcycling project. From the brightly polished former furnaces to the lovingly renovated factory buildings to the recreational area near the rewilded mines: old is not bulldozed but consistently upgraded and integrated with the new. There is a sense of pride in the history and stories of previous generations.

Nightcap We end our visit by meeting up with Corbi. Born in Niederkorn, he grew up in the South with the sounds of Cypress Hill and Wu Tang Clan. But the New York rap fan raps his lyrics in Luxembourgish. “It just wouldn’t sound good any other way,” he says dryly and grins. The rapper takes us to the cult bar “Pitcher” for a nightcap. Harley-Davidson ad posters and metal signs for Tabasco sauce decorate the walls. We enjoy each sip of beer. The entire jaws of an old Chevrolet Impala hang beneath a giant Pepsi bottle cap. Here, nobody is interested in class. Drink up and get absorbed in lively discussions about the town’s latest news, under the watchful and amused eye of the ever-zen host.

Two real smooch balls form the work of art opposite “Bâtiment 4”. Two small cars are welded together so that they lie on top of each other like a pair of rusty lovers.

Compared to the tidy, almost perfect capital, Esch-surAlzette feels like the unruly sister: a little younger, wilder, fresher and dishevelled. And definitely hotter, even without the lit furnaces.

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Daydream MINETT UNESCO BIOSPHERE

Man and the Biosphere 64

LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


In 2020, UNESCO recognised the Minett region as a biosphere reserve. The man-made and rewilded landscapes are truly extraordinary. Discovering them is a magical experience. Text THOMAS JUTZLER

Photos ANDRÉ SCHÖSSER, THOMAS JUTZLER

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The closure of the former mining sites in the south of Luxembourg has favoured the development of plant communities and the emergence of a particular fauna. Rare plants settle in the microclimate of the rewilded open-cast mines. Small animals and insects are returning.

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG


The trees have green beards! I feel like they’re about to talk to me. Clearly, I’m in Middle Earth. The dwarves in The Hobbit were miners, right? I would not be surprised to see one of them emerge from one of the many dark holes that appear in the rock formations every few feet. Perfectly framed and beautifully constructed mine entrances, mossy and overgrown, abandoned for years. If you stand right in front of them, the continual draught will give you goosebumps. Even before you approach the portal, there’s an eerie change in temperature. The gentle, humid and nippy breeze is evidence of the underground maze criss-crossing the region. The cool humidity is likely also responsible for the tree beards. Green, mossy tufts dangle from the branches, lending the thin trunks a fantastical, mystical quality. Basically, Middle Earth. J.R.R. Tolkien would have been inspired.

A land in transition The land in Luxembourg’s South has been gnawed on and riddled with holes. It lies there, like the leftovers of a gargantuan feast. The steel giants that originally gorged on the region have almost all disappeared. What’s left are places that bear witness to intense industrial exploitation. But they are also proof that man’s influence on nature doesn’t have to be destructive.

It can be truly positive. At least, if the industry is then eventually shut down. The closure of the mines fostered the development of plant communities and unique fauna. This microclimate is home to rare plants. Insects and small animals are returning. Explore the trails of this UNESCO biosphere reserve and delight in the orchids, butterflies, bats, amphibians, lizards and reptiles, to name just a few. The trails lead along former supply routes and disused railway lines through a gnarly forest.

Every now and then, we interrupt lizards’ siestas and watch them scurry away. Water accumulates in dips and, as a layperson, it’s impossible to tell if the biotopes are natural or manmade. For example, when a hollow in an abandoned pit has at some point caved in and a pool of water has formed. The variety of insects and amphibians drawn to these pools is incredible. Now and again, dragonflies rest on glowing orchids. There’s croaking in the shrubbery and countless insects dance in the sunrays above the glistening water.

The biosphere reserve in the Minett, as the people of Luxembourg call the “Land of the Red Rocks” in the south of the country, is special in a worldwide comparison with its high settlement density. The reserve includes eleven communes across 200 km² as well as numerous underground and opencast mines.

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A few hundred meters onward, the scenery changes completely. The sun warms the dark red earth and lends this area a desert-like feel. Aspen, birches and pine trees thankfully provide a little protective shade. A marvellously varied panorama.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes Nature is reclaiming this mining region – as are the mountain bikers! At Lallenger Bierg, between Esch-sur-Alzette and Kayl, I see a flock of sheep stumbling around the red rocks like a group of curious tourists. Meanwhile, the sheep are staring at the strangely dressed

humans biking through the bumpy terrain. The bike park here is challenging, in more ways than one. Sustainable and carefully managed tourism, agriculture and protected areas are meant to work in unison at the biosphere reserve.

The successful rewilding of the industrial areas as well as the return of flora and fauna were prerequisites for acceptance into the global network of biosphere reserves which are part of the UNESCO programme “Man and the Biosphere”. The programme is designed to explore the influence of humans and their interaction with nature.

Microclimates, humans and nature From the narrow gorges of mineshaft entrances overgrown with blackberries to the desert-like zones of former opencast mining areas, this is a region of contrasts. One is humid, the other dry. One is marked by thick scrub, the other by open expanses. Cold and heat. Explore this trail through the different microclimates on bike or on foot.

Exciting transformation The goal is to evolve from an industrial-based economy to a knowledge-based economy in harmony with nature. The high population density of the biosphere reserve in the south of Luxembourg makes it very special. It includes eleven communes across 200 km² as well as numerous underground and opencast mines. With the disappearance of heavy industry, the region is reinventing itself while preserving its cultural and industrial heritage.

Everglades, Red Rocks and “crocodiles”. Welcome to the United States of... Luxembourg. Explore the unexpected wilderness of the Minett region.

© CLAUDE ASSEL

A variety of projects support the newly regained biodiversity. At the same time, this is a region with a rich cultural history and exciting urban transformations. Humans play a central role within the changing biosphere.

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These days, we’re aware of the impact we have and that we still have a long way to go: the south of the Grand Duchy gives us a glimpse of what this journey might look like.


Disused open-cast mining areas reminiscent of worldfamous canyons: In the “Land of Red Rocks, where monstrous excavators once battered the landscape, nature is reclaiming the mining areas. And mountain bikers are conquering them too.

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 On the Minett Trail: The new life and biodiversity of the region can also be experienced on the Minett Trail. The 90-kilometre hiking trail runs right through the region. Across ten stages, it offers villages, towns, nature, and shows how the steel industry has shaped the urban space. www.minetttrail.lu  Minett Tour with Minett Park: If you want to know everything about industrial history in the Land of Red Rocks, you should go on the Minett Tour. The approximately 35-kilometre route connects five sites with

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LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

Everywhere on the Minett Tour you can see machines and equipment related to the former iron ore mining in Luxembourg.

© RENATA LUSSO

 From mining to nature reserve: The “Ellergronn” nature reserve was used for iron ore mining just a few decades ago. After the site south of Esch-sur-Alzette was abandoned, the “Kazebierg” mining area located there was transformed into a variety of habitats for a wide range of animal species, amidst ponds and the dry grass so typical of the region, on the edge of an alder and ash forest, along the small streams. The “Ellergronn” is part of the European network of nature reserves Natura 2000. A small jewel that can be discovered directly and easily from Eschsur-Alzette on a hike or a short walk. www.visitminett.lu

different thematic orientations around iron ore extraction and steel production in the past. One of them is the Minett Park Fond-de-Gras, where a steam train and a mine train run during the summer season. The Cockerill Pit Museum in Eschsur-Alzette and the National Mining Museum in Rumelange are also interesting mining-related spots. www.minetttour.lu

© RENATA LUSSO

Other stops worth seeing:


Dampness here, dryness there. Dense scrub against open space. Coolness against warmth. This walk through the varying climate zones can be experienced in one day if you choose the right hiking or biking route.

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VISIT THE BRASSERIE NATIONALE:

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE HEART OF A REAL INTERACTIVE SHOW AND DISCOVER THE LUXEMBOURG TERROIR !

Nourished by a heritage that dates back more than 250 years, over centuries the Brasserie Nationale has become the leading brewery of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The secret of this success will be revealed to you during a visit to the Brasserie Nationale... an essential stop in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a place steeped in history while looking towards the future. Discover a brewery that brings together tradition and innovation.

SMELL, TOUCH AND EVEN TASTE THE RAW MATERIALS Bofferding, Battin and Funck-Bricher beers are brewed from the best raw materials; they come from pure malt and pure hops. They are 100% natural, without additives or preservatives. Thanks to our knowledgeable guides, you’ll be able to feel and touch the raw materials, and receive detailed explanations along with exclusive stories of our history. Each ingredient is carefully chosen; right down to the water used. "It’s important to note that water changes the taste of beer. Ours is of impeccable quality," says Georges Lentz, It's noteworthy that the water is drawn at the brewery, from a source found 317 meters underground. An extraordinary purity that you will, of course, be invited to taste directly at the source.

During the visit, you’ll be able to see for yourself, on one side, our museum of historical objects and, on the other, large, very modern installations. Thanks to investments made every year, we have built a brewery that is continuously more innovative, cost-effective and eco-friendly.

TASTE OUR KNOW-HOW The highlight of the visit! The tasting – in addition to those offered during the visit – includes 5 beers from the range offered by the Brasserie Nationale. Starting with a traditional Bofferding Pils, followed by a fresh Bofferding BIO, an excellent Battin Gambrinus, an exclusive FunckBricher and finishing the experience with a seasonal beer. An explosion of flavours accompanied by technical explanations that will allow you to better appreciate each beer. You will find the "savoir-bière" with a beautiful representation by our guides; a perfectly pulled beer fresh from the tap, served with great technical precision. An enjoyable and generous tasting experience ends the visit, all presented with good humour and conviviality in a family atmosphere. We are proud to announce that in 2022, to the delight of beer enthusiasts: DE BRAUATELIER is now part of the visit to the Brasserie and features a brand new tasting room. Here you can discover how to brew your own beer and experience the science and magic of beer brewing, guided by beer experts.

A FUN WAY TO DISCOVER OUR TRADITION The guided tour of the Brasserie Nationale is a fun way to discover our traditional method. You will start in our brewing room - the heart of production - then discover the new fermentation tanks, pass by the impressive cellar nicknamed "the cathedral", and finish at the bottling and barrelling areas. Throughout the visit, you’ll receive complete explanations about the different stages of the beer-making process. During this initiation you'll also have the unique opportunity to discover distilled beer as well as young (unfiltered) beer, which can only be found exclusively here!

TRAVEL THROUGH MORE THAN TWO CENTURIES OF HISTORY ADAPTED TO THE MODERN ERA Nourished by heritage dating back more than two centuries, this impressive family business has one foot deeply rooted in history and the other foot stepping into modern innovation and technology.

The brewery is also now equipped with a "Microbrewery" type installation for the purpose of developing and experimenting new recipes and offering brewing courses for groups of 10-15 people. You can find all the new activities at www.visitebrasserienationale.com Don't forget to book before you venture out! We look forward to welcoming you soon for a memorable visit and tasting experience!

BRASSERIE NATIONALE 2 Boulevard J-F Kennedy | L-4930 Bascharage | Tél. : +352 23 63 64 - 217 visite@bofferding.lu | www.visitebrasserienationale.com


BRASSERIE NATIONALE VISIT AND BEER TASTING

! To visit

A UNIQUE BREWERY EXPERIENCE: Welcome by a professional guide Guided tour through the brewery Tasting session of 100% natural beers Souvenirs Duration: 2h (tasting included)

PRACTICAL INFORMATION AND RESERVATION : • Visits on reservation from Monday to Saturday (without reservation on Saturdays at 3 p.m.) • Booking by telephone : + 352 23 63 64 - 217 or on our website www.visitebrasserienationale.com • Access by: Personalized transport service possible • Enjoy food and drinks at our partner "D’Braustuff "

Languages: LU / FR / DE / EN / CN


Travelling to commemorate can be an intense experience, especially for a German who decides to visit several World War II memorials in one day. Facing what these moments elicit and experiencing these settings for oneself is a worthwhile endeavour. A personal take on the war. Text BIRGIT PFAUS-RAVIDA Photos ALFONSO SALGUEIRO

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Transforming Experiences REMEMBRANCE AND TRAVEL

Remember, understand, hope

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The cemetery of the fallen German soldiers has a very unique appearance. A narrow door in a high wall leads to the burial ground. Grey crosses in rows, slightly offset, between tall trees commemorate the dead.

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On this November morning, the sun rises through a veil of clouds and bathes the entire landscape in a pink, milky light. It’s peaceful, magical. I’m standing at the entrance to the American Military Cemetery in Hamm. Today, I’m going to visit memorial sites. They are a reminder of the Battle of the Bulge fought during the last two years of the war: German soldiers fought against the Luxembourgish, Americans, French and British. A lot of blood was shed in the Ardennes, especially during the winter months of 1944 and 1945.

fountains with descending basins splash on the green promenades between the graves. They are decorated with bronze dolphins and tortoises, symbolising rebirth and eternal life. The sculptures, paths and gravestones create a remarkably symmetrical whole. The carvings on the headstones are discreet, almost invisible on the pure white marble. Some names sound European, even German. Did a few American soldiers

In front of the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch, two tanks point the way to the entrance. The density of exhibits is impressive. The exhibition is a mixture of historical photos, original objects from the war days including disarmed weapons, reconstructed combat operations and everyday scenes.

Over 5,000 American soldiers were laid to rest here in Hamm. The huge black gate is adorned with a golden eagle and laurel wreaths, symbols of bravery in ancient times. The grass is frostbitten yet perfectly manicured. A few autumn leaves lie scattered around the crosses. Everything is clean and orderly.

Impressive symmetry Amidst the countless white marble headstones lies the chapel with its colossal red granite angel reaching into the sky. Inside, the ceiling features a magnificent, golden mosaic portraying the Holy Spirit in the shape of a peace dove. The steps to the monument are low, allowing me to comfortably gaze into the distance while walking. I look at the row of crosses. Some bear the Star of David, others a Christian cross. Depending on where you stand, the gravestones appear either aligned or offset. Two

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Surrounded by woodland, “Schumanns Eck” had been an important traffic junction on a well-developed trade route between Belgium and Luxembourg since the end of the Middle Ages. During World War II, however, this place was to become one of the cruellest battlefields on Luxembourg soil because of its strategic importance.

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In the middle of the woods, life-size photo figures form more than a backdrop. They appear abruptly in the forest, seem alive although they are two-dimensional and black and white. The afternoon sun makes spotlights in the forest. The scenery is surreal.

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have German ancestors? I wonder. Later, the Military Museum is going to provide answers to some of my questions.

and greenery of the German site seem to assuage painful memories. It’s important to visit both memorial sites for a full experience.

The hidden burial ground

Among the trees, men in camouflage are raking fallen leaves. The German soldiers are in Luxembourg for one week in November to care for the grounds both here and near the American cemetery. “We’re Bundeswehr volunteers. I like doing it. We’re preparing everything for a wreath-laying ceremony,” says soldier Carsten Westphal. He and his comrades travelled here from northern Germany for this occasion. They will also visit the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch, which is my next stop.

The German Military Cemetery is nearby, hidden in the shadows. A few footsteps through a small door, past a simple, wrought-iron cross will lead you to the graves. Here, trees grow into the sky. The grey stone crosses contrast starkly with the snowy white headstones of the American cemetery. The cemeteries are very different: The American has shiny victory wreaths while the sober colours

A German soldier clears the ground of leaves in the cemetery. Carsten Westphal is doing voluntary service to care for the war graves. After work, he looks forward to getting to know Luxembourg and its culture.

Outside, two tanks indicate the entrance to the museum. The tour leads through the winding rooms of a former brewery with many arches and doors. The exhibit is impressive. Displays include historical photos and original war objects like defused weapons. Combat situations and scenes from everyday life are recreated using life-size dolls turned soldiers for eternity. Some items look like new, others are coated in patina, having laid in trenches or bomb shelters.

War witnesses for eternity The museum explores life and death during the war. What did people eat during battle and in shelters? What games did people play? What did they sleep on in basements? What did radio operators work with? An original Enigma cipher machine captures my attention. Military technology can be fascinating. I move on to a wooden box used to protect pets during bombing raids. Rusty weapons lie among autumn leaves. There are muddy tank treads. A DIY surgery kit for the front, including medical utensils to go. One of the dolls is having surgery. The light makes the fake blood glow red. I will carry these impressions with me into night. The “Schumanns Eck memorial trail” in the forest near Wiltz is the last stop on my memorial days. Life-size photo figures suddenly emerge in the forest. They look alive even though they’re two-dimensional and in black

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A monument in the shape of a lighthouse commemorates the victims of the Nazis in Wiltz. After the introduction of compulsory military service for Luxembourgers in the German Wehrmacht in August 1942, workers in Wiltz went on strike. The strike movement quickly spread throughout the country. The occupiers responded with brutal violence; 21 Luxembourgers were executed. 81


More than 5,000 American soldiers rest in the American military cemetery in the Hamm district of the capital. The cemetery breathes pride. The grass is perfectly trimmed, frost rests on it. Very few autumn leaves lie between the gravestones in the morning sun.

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Some gravestones are designed with a Star of David instead of a Christian cross. Depending on the angle of view, the gravestones are placed one behind the other or offset. The engraved names appear discreet, hardly visible on the pure white marble.

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The Lancaster Memorial in Weiswampach commemorates the crews of two Lancaster bombers who died in the Second World War. 13 young men lost their lives in the crash. The chapel next door invites contemplation.

and white. Two soldiers check passers-by. Others cook soup amid a skirmish. Two are huddled together, looking scared. One of them smokes a cigarette. They can’t be more than 18 years old. This isn’t a regular trail. Signs read “Caution! Mines!” and “Metal detectors prohibited!” The afternoon sun shines through the trees. It feels surreal.

Pictures of soldiers come alive It’s very cold up here, surrounded by the huge trees of the Ardennes, even though the sun hasn’t set yet. In January 1945, soldiers hid here and gave each other warmth and courage in the trenches and foxholes. Maybe they wrote yet another letter home. They must have felt unimaginably lonely. There’s a picture of a crouching soldier, his helmet on the ground. The real soldier has been dead for a long time. More than any picture in a museum, this Remembrance Trail helps me understand that this is a snapshot in time. This is a picture of a man who really existed. Nothing more, nothing less. One group of people looks eerily real. The young fighters appear to run towards me and stare at me directly. Right beside them: a huge crater where a 500-pound American bomb was dropped. A beech tree grows almost right in the middle. Nature is reclaiming this place too. What remains, is hope.

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The tour of the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch leads through the rooms of a former brewery, with narrow passageways and many arches and doors. In addition to the Battle of the Ardennes in the Diekirch area, reconstructed by dioramas on a scale of 1:1, the museum also shows, among other things, the history of the Luxembourg resistance fighters 1940-1945. 85


Stops along the remembrance path  The General Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbrück honours the commander of the Third US Army whose troops liberated Ettelbruck during World War II on 25 December 1944. Documents and objects depict the invasion, repression and persecution by Nazi Germany and Luxembourg’s liberation. Those who wish to continue in General Patton’s footsteps can visit his final resting place between the flagpoles at the American cemetery in Luxembourg-Hamm. A visit to the German military cemetery down the road in Hamm is also worthwhile. www.patton.lu  The Abbey of Cinqfontaines was turned into a detention centre for Jews during World War II from 1941. The occupying forces expelled the religious community and the abbey became the last stop for Jews before they were deported to the eastern concentration camps. In 1944, the American military converted the monastery into a field hospital. In 1969, a memorial monument was unveiled. In 1973, it became a place of reflection and quiet contemplation. www.visit-eislek.lu

liberation. The history of the Luxembourg resistance fighters 19401945 as well as the history of the Luxembourg army is also shown. www.visit-clervaux.lu www.wiltz.lu www.mnhm.lu  You can follow in the footsteps of smugglers and resistance fighters on the Ulflingen Trail of Remembrance. Along the way, the Éislek-App provides interesting audio and video commentary including eye-witness accounts. The long tour (north route) is a 12 km trail, the short tour is 9 km. The Schlindermanderscheid Bunker Trail leads to a large bunker where several young Luxembourgish conscientious objectors and deserters of the Nazi regime found shelter during the war. The trail also features magnificent view points over the Éislek scenery. www.visit-eislek.lu  The Lancaster Memorial Weiswampach commemorates the crews of two Lancaster bombers who died in the Second World

 The Battle of the Bulge in winter of 1944-1945 was one of the biggest and messiest battles of World War II. Ultimately, it liberated Luxembourg from German occupation. The Battle of the Bulge museums in Clervaux and Wiltz and the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch commemorate this battle and the

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War. Thirteen young men lost their lives in the crash. The chapel next door offers a place of quiet contemplation. www.visit-eislek.lu  If you would like to experience organised tours around the sites of remembrance in Luxembourg can contact Gaul’s Legacy Tours. Roland Gaul is an internationally recognised expert on the Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg and founder of the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch. Together with his wife, he organises individually compiled tours of remembrance for those interested. www.gauls-legacy-tours.lu

In addition to an educational centre for young people, a place of remembrance of the turbulent past is to be created in the Abbey of Cinqfontaines in the near future.


The General Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck displays the general’s biography, weapons and military equipment from the battlefields and the air war.

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From hospitality to the culinary arts, the Hotel and Tourism School EHTL in Diekirch teaches the art of welcome. Many successful gastronomes started here before taking on the world. Text FREDERIKE HÖHN Photos ANDREAS WEISE

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The Good Life HOTEL AND TOURISM SCHOOL EHTL

Hospitality school

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Laughing is important. Especially at EHTL where the school motto “striving for excellence” already suggests the training packs a punch.

In the practice restaurant, students learn to set tables and serve food and drinks. Today, “serving soup” is on the lesson plan.

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Much like a conductor leading his orchestra, cooking teacher Patrick Scholzen raises his hand to say a few words and his students begin wielding pots and knives. The whole room chimes. In the last row, Victor uses a ladle to stir the meat stock in a big silver pot. Fabio, right beside him, performs a staccato with his knife and chopping board. A loud snap resounds from the front row, as Serena and Kai crack orange lobster claws. Meanwhile, Sofia divides Nori-leaves with a soft crunch. The constant hum of the oven and the muttering of the eight cooks complete the sound tapestry. Today, they are working towards a common goal: creating a harmoniously flavoured menu for tomorrow evening’s festivities. The feast is an EHTL tradition. Younger students cook a meal for graduating students who’ve spent three years earning their diplomas. Patrick Scholzen is in the thick of things. He leads the event, offers advice, demonstrates proper flicks of the wrist and is a source of comic relief to a group of students who are extremely focused in the midst of all this hubbub.

“Striving for excellence” “In our kitchens, students learn about the hustle and bustle of life. Students cook and are sometimes given specific time frames. Pressure is omnipresent in real life. You’re expected to perform and produce results amid chaos,” says Michel Lan-

ners, manager of the prestigious school. He stands in the lobby, wearing a black suit, perfect posture and sly smile. During the school year, about 300 students walk in and out of here every day. Next to him is the school emblem: a lion next to the letters EHTL that stand for “École d’Hôtellerie et de Tourisme du Luxembourg”. The name is well-known in Luxembourg, and the school, founded in 1949, has an excellent reputation. Its founder, Luxembourgish hotel owner Alexis Heck, was a pioneer of Luxembourg’s tourism industry in the mid-19th century.

Learning for life The school is much more than a place that trains students for traditional career paths like chef or hotelier, explains Lanners. “The spirit of the school is hospitality. That’s what we teach. Our students learn to become atten-

tive, friendly and discreet, and to respond quickly. Those are qualities we all appreciate when dealing with other people. They will also help students transition into their future jobs.”

Positively informal The foyer doors swing open and the students pile in. The second lesson of the day starts in a few minutes. The students traverse the lobby with rapid strides and head for a long corridor. A few of their peers are already there, waiting for the melodic bell to ring. The students wear suits and ties, elegant attire, chef’s hats and aprons. EHTL trains students in a realistic work environment. That applies not only to the dress code but also to the way everyone interacts, even if they’re in a hurry. In the halls, students and teachers always greet each other with a friendly smile and a happy “Gudde Moien” or “Bonjour”.

EHTL is well-known in Luxembourg and has an excellent reputation. Its founder, Luxembourgish hotel owner Alexis Heck, was a pioneer of Luxembourg’s tourism industry in the mid-19th century.

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The bell rings. A group of young people stand in a room with eight tables decked with white tablecloths, cloth napkins, cutlery and glasses. This room is part of the practice restaurant. Here, students learn to set tables and serve food and drinks. Today’s lesson: “serving soup”. To practice, students ladle cold water instead of hot soup from a big silver pot into bowls. The teacher observes every movement carefully and offers friendly tips for improvement like “don’t fill up the ladle too much” or “always serve from the right side”. A few doors down, a huge stove sits in the middle of the room.

The delicious scent of freshly roasted onions permeates the room. A cooker hood absorbs the steam swirling up from the pots and pans. The eight students, all around 16 years old, listen intently to their teacher, Lucien Kass. He explains what to pay attention to when lightly braising zucchini and bell peppers. “Many years ago, I was a student here,” he says, beaming. Meanwhile, his students are busy adding vegetables to their pots with a loud sizzle. “After I graduated, I travelled the world as a chef and waiter. Twenty years ago, I came back here as a teacher to share my joy of cooking”.

Serena Villani is already enraptured by the industry. For good reason. “I really like that our school is so informal,” she says, smiling. She also dreams of exploring the world after graduating from EHTL. “I want to travel and share my experiences with the world.

Big dreams, wide world Student Serena Villani also dreams of exploring the world after her training. Graduating from EHTL will bring Serena a good step closer to fulfilling that dream, says school manager Michel Lanners. “Our graduates go on to have very successful careers. We’re very proud to see many of our students in leading and important positions,” he says. He mentions former student Caroline Esch as an example. In 2019, at just 24 years of age, the chef opened up her own restaurant, Eden Rose.

A recipe for success Today, about ten years later, her restaurant is the first in Luxembourg to offer an entirely glutenfree yet innovative and varied menu. Her imaginative cuisine is so successful that she and her fiancé Valérien Prade renovated the restaurant again in 2021 and refined the menu. Guests at Eden Rose can expect a mouth-watering gourmet experience. And a personal touch: a collection of old coffee and tea pots can be discovered everywhere, most of them decorated with flowers, of course. Caroline reminisces about her time at EHTL about ten years ago with a smile. “It is an excellent school that opens up many doors for students.” A diversity that no doubt contributes to Luxembourg’s veritable treasure trove of culinary arts.

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Former EHTL student Caroline Esch opened her own restaurant Eden Rose in 2019 at the age of just 24, and has already been named Discovery of the Year 2022 by the renowned gastronomy guide Gault&Millau, among others.

Eden Rose is located in a park in Kayl, an hour south of Diekirch. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the striking russet façade provide a view of the restaurant‘s open space.

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The Good Life FROM THE FIELD TO THE VINEYARD

The secret of the golden vine For centuries, the landscape along the Moselle has been shaped by viticulture. Even the Romans appreciated the terroir in the south-east of Luxembourg. To visit Cep d’Or is to encounter a unique family business. Text THOMAS JUTZLER Photos ANDRÉ SCHÖSSER, THOMAS JUTZLER

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Life is too short to drink bad wine, said Goethe, allegedly. It’s probably a misattribution but the core of the message is sound. Life is definitely too short, especially to drink bad wine. That’s why our search for good wine leads us here, standing in the mud just above Stadtbredimus.

A search for good wine

a vineyard. You have to think in decades. In 25 years, this vineyard here will still be cultivated. Lisa will be in charge then and her father Jean-Marie might drop by to offer gracious tips that she might just as graciously ignore. It’s a generational project. That’s why they selected the vines together in the Champagne region.

Lisa Vesque studied oenology in Geisenheim and Bordeaux before joining her father‘s business in 2016. Her family has been involved in viticulture since at least 1762, but in the past they sold their grapes after harvest.

Our shoes are covered in clay. It looks more like a mud-patch than a vineyard. The word vineyard conjures up images of juicy grapes and green vines bathing in the sun. Of a romantic, idyllic country life. Sun-ripened nectar in beautiful glasses. Like in other realms of life, the work that goes into all that is beautiful and elegant remains unseen, it is laborious and much less romantic than you’d think.

A generational project Back to our mud-patch and the makings of good wine. It is spring 2021 and together with Lisa Vesque and her father Jean-Marie, we watch helpers plant new vines by hand in the muck field that is going to become a vineyard. A rich harvest will take years, an emotional realization connected to the passing of time, slow progress and long-term goals. It requires devotion and trust in nature and its inner workings. You can’t think in terms of quarterly results when investing in

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It’s October. At dawn, mist hovers over the River Moselle. The vineyards have a green glow. Autumn colours are beginning to appear. The plush grapes huddle between the vine leaves. The harvest is in full swing. We don’t see any machines. The grapes on the steep slopes along the Moselle are usually picked by hand and immediately cleaned. Small tractors pulling trailers full of grapes can be seen puttering along the river. The river valley is home to many vineyards that form the “Route du vin” (“Wäistrooss” in Luxembourgish), a 42km route through the Grand Duchy. Domaine Cep d’Or (or, the golden vine) is one of them.

A gift from the gods The gate to the vineyard is wide open. We walk in and are immersed in a hullabaloo of fizz, clatters and creaks. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, this isn’t the job for you! But dirt is the wrong word. After all, what causes the stains here is exquisite grape juice! Beaming, Lisa stands between shiny stainless-steel tanks holding a bucket and stirring the yeast. This is the most exciting time of the year for a winemaker. It involves harvesting, pressing, storing, filtering, decanting, adding yeast, measuring, cooling and tasting. Lisa is in her element. She is clearly a hard worker. We’ve only ever seen her in rubber boots. At the same time, she’s an artist.

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New vines are planted by hand. It will be a few years before anything can be harvested here in earnest. When you cultivate a vineyard, you don‘t think in terms of quarterly financial statements. But in decades.


Making wine is artistry, a mysterious secret that turns simple fruit into fine wine. A gift from the gods.

Shared dreams Alright, maybe it’s not that mystifying. The whole process is taught in college. Lisa, for example, studied oenology in Geisenheim and Bordeaux before joining her family’s business in 2016. At 29 years old, she’s the same age her father was when he first created this winery. The Vesque family business actually dates back to 1762 but they used to sell the grapes after the harvest. As a young man, Jean-Marie dreamed of making his own wine. He is overjoyed to see his daughter share his dream.

Pleasure, art, craft, love In 1995 when he was 31 years old, Jean-Marie created this vineyard with the help of architect François Valentiny, only ten years his senior, who shared his enthusiasm for concrete and design. Together, they designed a striking building crowned by a tower that looks like an oversized grape press.

is, the more likely people are to be curious and pop in, if we’re lucky.”

Wine and architecture

The plan must have worked. The cellar is bursting at the seams. Wooden barrels are stacked on top of each other and stainless-steel tanks are crammed up to the ceiling. The Crémant is resting. By the way, the “Cuvée 36” lies here for at least 3 years, as its label suggests. Which leads us back to the time spans in which father and daughter think.

 Do you love good wine and exciting architecture? The “Via Mosel” route presents the most beautiful wine villages and wineries in the “borderless” Moselle valley in the border triangle of Luxembourg, France and Germany, known for the quality of their tourist infrastructure but also for their remarkable historical or contemporary architecture. An interactive map on the Internet shows ways to plan a wine and architecture tour according to your tastes and schedule. www.viamosel.com

And this is where the romance comes into play. It lies between the ruby-red stained barrels, the dark, shimmering wine bottles and the boxes full of beautifully crafted labels waiting for young wines. The ingredients: pleasure, art, craft and a lot of love.

In 1995, at the age of 31, Jean-Marie Vesque founded the Domaine Cep d‘Or. Together with the architect François Valentiny, he designed an eye-catching building. It is crowned by a tower reminiscent of an oversized grape press.

It’s an eye-catcher. “When you start a new winery, you have to draw attention to yourself,” says Jean-Marie, grinning. “Our family already owned the land here along the “Wäistrooss”. Everyone who drives by here will inevitably pass by our cellar. The more impressive it

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Outdoors Passion DREAM LOOPS - PREMIUM TRAILS

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Hiking along the three Dream Loops in the Moselle region feels like entering an incredibly beautiful and diverse fantasy world. Every wine village lures you in. Text THOMAS JUTZLER

Photos ANDRÉ SCHÖSSER, THOMAS JUTZLER

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Pastures, orchards and, above all, the ravine forest along the Syr River make the “Manternacher Fiels” dream loop a real discovery trail.

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The three Luxembourg dream loops have each been certified as a premium trail by the German Hiking Institute. There is a lot to see, discover and experience.

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The dream loops run for the most part along narrow, natural paths, past idyllic watercourses, old vineyard steps and imposing rock formations to vantage points with fantastic views.

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The children are in exploring mode as they run around the pillars adorned with miniatures emblematic of European countries. “The moose definitely belongs to Finland! And here, I found wooden clogs! That’s Holland!”, they exclaim. Outside the European Museum, the flags of member countries flutter in the wind.

Premium trails This is Schengen, the starting point of one of Luxembourg’s Dream Loops that meander along the Moselle. The German Hiking Institute has certified all three loop trails as premium trails. There is so much to see, discover and experience. The dream loops run for the most part along narrow, natural paths, past idyllic watercourses, old vineyard steps and imposing rock formations to vantage points with fantastic views.

rolling hills and fertile farmland back to Luxembourg. For a change of scenery, try the “Manternacher Fiels” Dream Loop. Located a little further away from the river, this particularly adventurous trail leads through diverse landscapes including meadows, orchards and a forested ravine along the river Syre. By the dam, you can leap from stone to stone up the fish ladder. Dip your feet in the shallow water and watch birds emerge from the thicket on the embankment for a little sip. From time to time, you can hear a train rumbling through the valley. Other than that: silence.

Hideout in the woods The hike leads along limestone formations through thick,

broadleaf woodland to a vineyard – in the middle of the forest! Nestled between luscious green trees and a protective rock face, the seemingly lost vineyard appears well-tended and is clearly still being cultivated, despite its surreal location. Continue through the narrow V-shaped valley along the “Schlammbaach Creek” and head up the crooked stone steps up the hill to reach the “Lellinger Plateau”.

The path in Schengen is a proverbial border walk. After a while you imperceptibly cross the border to France, while at the same time you can see Germany on the opposite side.

Hiking beyond borders The trail in Schengen literally leads across the border. Head down the path and, before you know it, you’ll be in France surrounded by the omnipresent vineyards and views of Germany on the other side of the winding Moselle. Keep going to reach the “Strombierg Plateau”, climb onto towering cliffs and immerse yourself in wild nature. Admire the meandering river beneath. We’re in France now. That’s why we love Europe: it’s borderless. Enjoy the narrow, untouched path along

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At the entrance to the village of Ahn, there is a maze made of meticulously trimmed and disorienting boxwood hedges. It is, so to speak, an extra dream loop!

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The boxwood labyrinth: a magical world full of secrets awaits the hiker. Just be careful where the path leads you! If you walk it consciously, something in you can be changed. 105


Where else?  Enjoy the panorama! There are many beautiful vantage points along the Moselle: between Stadtbredimus and Greiveldange, on the “Scheierbierg” in Remich, at the top of the “Wormer Koeppchen” vineyard and at “Deisermillen” in Machtum. www.visitmoselle.lu  The nature reserve „A Wiewesch“ is surrounded by fruit orchards and only a few hundred metres from the largest ravine forest in the Grand Duchy, the Manternacher Fiels. www.visitmoselle.lu

Enjoy the magnificent views over the Moselle valley before returning to Manternach via old vineyard walls and vestiges of historic mills.

A historic boxwood forest on Palmberg It is rumoured to be the northernmost natural boxwood forest in the world and to have grown over the ruins of a Roman villa. The villa is gone. The boxwood is still there, as are the vineyards. First cultivated by the Romans, they are a defining feature of the Moselle landscape.

Moselle promenade in Schengen: If you look closely, you will discover miniature worlds typical of each country on the pillars of the European nations.

This is the “Palmberg Ahn Wine and Nature Trail”. The path leads along bright shell limestone formations through steep vineyards. When not trimmed or pruned, boxwood takes on a shape resembling a Christmas tree. Today, we are surrounded by small, dark green leaves shimmering in the sunlight. Alongside the boxwood grove you’ll find former vineyards, now populated by flowers like the blue butcher and butterfly orchids. Every now and then, lizards dart through the cracks in the remnants of a dry-stone wall. Today, the dream loop beckons to be explored. 225 million years ago, it was the bed of the Shell Limestone Sea. Time is relative. If you look closely, you’ll see fossils in a few rocks.

Last stop: Crémant! The path continues into the Donverbach forest, winding through the rock formations. The rocks in the creek bed make this feel like a mountain stream. A dipper grazes the water, then dives in looking for food. Its companion waits perched on a rock on the bank, bobbing up and down, seemingly cheering on his friend. We follow the stream out of the forest into more vineyards, just above the village. Before deciding where to have that well-deserved glass of Crémant, we follow the signpost to the labyrinth. The village entrance boasts a maze made of meticulously trimmed and disorienting boxwood hedges. A bonus dream loop!

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“Palmberg” near the wine village of Ahn has probably been home to boxwood since Roman times. It grows wild and bushy in a unique grove and crowns the prime vineyard site. Discover it on the “Palmberg Ahn Wine and Nature Trail” dream loop.

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The Good Life FARM STAY HOLIDAYS

Naturally good Experience farm life up close. Lend a hand in the fields to reconnect with nature. Breathe in fresh country air. Get your morning eggs straight from the barn. A holiday in the countryside is a wonderful way to switch off. Text ANTONIA STEINES Photos ANDRÉ SCHÖSSER

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A veil of mist flows through the meadow orchards and gently drifts over the hills. Gnarled fruit trees and a weathered fence separate path from pasture. This morning, we are in Fromburg, Mullerthal. It’s early and a black cow watches us with curiosity, her breath swirling through the cold air.

Country life

pulling it out of the ground feels exhilarating when you’re not used to sowing and harvesting. Fromburg farm lies on a hill. To the east, rolling hills. The Moselle river must lie in the valley beyond the last mound. To the west, a forest expanse. Follow the dirt path past the vegetable

If you want to get your hands dirty, consider a farm stay vacation. Breathe in fresh air while gardening to reconnect with nature. There’s nothing like a little earth under your finger nails to help you feel grounded.

We are on our way to visit Angus cattle breeders Christiane and Jeff Weydert who met as students. In 2016, they decided to take over his parents’ business. “We are both nature lovers and so happy and grateful to be living in and around nature,” they say. “We consider it a privilege to cultivate and preserve this beautiful place and to guide it into the future”. To share their passion, they now run the farm as community supported agriculture (CSA). Over 50 different crops are grown on Fromburg Farm in Osweiler. CSA members can harvest fruit, herbs, berries, flowers and vegetables directly from the field or greenhouse. Anyone can become a member. Working the fields is a perk, not a requirement. Guests staying in the holiday apartments are also invited to join in the gardening. Under the cows’ ever watchful eyes, I pull a on a thick, dark green stalk. It pops out of the ground and attached to it is a copper-coloured bulb, covered in clods of earth. What an aroma! Tangy and earthy. Mundane, really. It’s an onion, after all. Yet

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patch into the forest to explore the Mullerthal’s forests and sandstone cliffs.

A farm farewell We brush the soil off our shoes and head towards the forest, the path bathed in sunlight. The Angus cattle don’t seem to care that we’re leaving. A few chickens, however, follow us. They are used to being fed by humans and cluck at us, demanding attention. The way they clamour, wiggle their tail feathers and zig zag around us, it’s funny. After an excited flutter, they seem to understand that we don’t have any food for them, at least for the time being, and let us proceed. We hear buzzing from the bee hives in the tall grass. A raptor circles above us, grazing the scarce clouds. Farm dog Maxi sniffs our pants, his

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disinterested look seems to say “I already know you, go ahead”.

Short hike on a premium trail We make our way down the Mullerthal Trail. The trail consists of three long loop trails that explore the region known as “Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland” and was awarded the label “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe”. It features crevices, forests, sunkissed valleys, winding waterways and much more. Today, we limit ourselves to walking a short distance under the protective cover of beech trees as a special event awaits us tonight.

LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

Experience country life with a farm holiday at Christiane and Jeff Weydert’s “Hof Fromburg”.

Where to sleep  “Geyershof” is located on a vast property 5km from Echternach. Set in peaceful surroundings, it even features an indoor playground for children. www.geyershof.lu  “Roudenhaff” offers spacious holiday rentals and wellness programs with an idyllic view of lake Echternach. Stroll around the lake or explore the nearby Mullerthal Trail. www.meyer-ernzen.lu  In the north of the country, “Robbesscheier” in Munshausen is the place to stay. The outdoor adventure centre offers various accommodation and country life experiences. www.robbesscheier.lu  In Wellenstein, old, renovated vineyard houses have been converted into “Gîtes”. The Moselle valley’s viticulturist history made palpable. Check out “Yolande’s Barn” and the A Possen museum, located next to each other, while you’re there. Use this prize-winning countryside tourism stamp to send a postcard from the farm. www.gites.lu


We end our country adventure with a feast. Cooking and eating together is probably one of the best ways to immerse ourselves in the culture and mindset of a country.

As fresh as it gets Jeff has invited friends. Philippe, a professional chef, cheerfully doles out instructions. On the menu? Angus burger and the classic “Wäinzoossiss mat Moschterzooss” (wine bratwurst with mustard sauce). Both, of course, straight from their farm shop. We’re also making “Gromperekichelcher” (potato fritters). The potatoes are still in the ground but the squealing children in our group are excited to unearth them. They look like a horde of treasure hunters. Lettuce, tomatoes and carrots, the remaining burger ingredients, are also farm-to-table. This is as fresh as it gets!

A zestful region In the middle of these fields and meadows, we prepare what the land provides. An old oil drum with a huge iron ring has been repurposed into a grill. It heats up nicely. There is a stone pizza oven as well, in the unlikely case anyone is still hungry. Still, you can’t go wrong with pizza. It’s a veritable feast. Night falls and everything becomes quiet. No clucking, buzzing or mooing. The dog is

asleep too. The only sounds? Our voices. The noise of civilization? Absent. Instead, we are accompanied by the gentle chirping of crickets. The seed has been sown. This is the way to get city dwellers excited about country life. We are content in every way.

An old oil drum with a huge iron ring has been repurposed into a grill for “Gromperekichelcher” (potato fritters), a Luxembourgish specialty. But first, Philippe has to peel and grate the freshly harvested potatoes.

www.fromburg.lu

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Outdoors Passion GRAVEL BIKE ADVENTURES

Mad(e) for cycling During four multi day adventures we discovered Luxembourg as a gravel biking destination. We have ridden, climbed and descended endless gravel roads and cycling paths. We have mapped countless unsigned gravel routes. Moreover, we enjoyed terrific dinners, comfort and hospitality at Luxembourg‘s unique “bed+bike” accommodations. Text LOEK LUIJBREGTS & NOL VAN LOON Photos FATPIGEON.CC

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Like many cyclists we like to discover, ride and share interesting cycling routes. We chose to finish the cycling season with a ride that would capture the spirit of cycling in Luxembourg: a North-to-South bikepacking adventure! We planned a ride from the most Northern part to the most Southern part of Luxembourg. It’s 127 km southwards with 1,770 m elevation to the French border.

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Luxembourg has all of the ingredients for a fun and exhilarating cycling trip with friends. Its rolling hills, great asphalt, broad variety of gravel roads, scenic rivers, historic bridges and castles are true classics. One of the many things we like are the pockets of dense forest between towns and villages. We spotted wild boar and saw deer jumping over the cycle path. Exactly the kind of sights you hope to see and remember vividly!

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You don’t need much to have a super sweet trip that includes nature, history, fitness, wildlife and culture. What you do need is a plan. On our first trip of the year, that plan was to explore hilly gravel paths, experience fast descents and visit medieval castles: so we headed straight for the Ardennes and Mullerthal.

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Hills, wine estates, views and regional dishes with local drinks. Sounds perfect, right? It’s actually even better: there is no traffic on the Vëlosummer bike routes for the whole month of August, an ideal time to explore different parts of the country on two wheels. We took on the historic “Mam Jangeli bei d’Kätti” trail in the Moselle region which leads up the old Jangelisbunn railway from Remich to Mondorf.

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ISSUE 4

Creative Direction & Editorial Design Guido Kröger, ampersand.studio

cultural center | artist residencies | corporate events | historic site

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Inspiring Travel Stories from Luxembourg

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Luci — Inspiring Travel Stories from Luxembourg

ISSUE 4 — ENGLISH

ISSUE 4 — ENGLISH

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Faces of a district The fish market, like a village in the middle of the city

Esch2022 Capital of Culture Spirit of optimism in the Land of the Red Rocks

Out and about Dream loops, biosphere and bike adventures

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18.02.22 12:03

Publisher Luxembourg for Tourism BP 1001, L-1010 Luxemburg Tel. +352 42 82 82 1 info@visitluxembourg.com VisitLuxembourg visit_luxembourg @luxembourginfo www.visitluxembourg.com

© LFT 2022 All rights reserved. Any entire or partial use, replication, reproduction, publication, transmission or distribution in any form, is not permitted without previous written approval by LFT. ISSN 2716-7291

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Texts Birgit Pfaus-Ravida Franck Dall Frederike Höhn Lilly Hütter Thomas Jutzler Loek Luijbregts Sarah Pitt Antonia Steines Nol van Loon Photos Pancake! Photographie (Cover) Fatpigeon.cc Hadrien Friob Thomas Jutzler Renata Lusso Alfonso Salgueiro Benny Schiltz André Schösser Andreas Weise Mike Zenari Other photos with friendly approval of the partners Translations & Corrections Cécile Balavoine Rachel Ezard John-Paul Gomez Birgit Pfaus-Ravida Sarah Pitt Hélène Rybol Lektornet why vanilla? Zenter fir dʼLëtzebuerger Sprooch

LUCI INSPIRING TRAVEL STORIES FROM LUXEMBOURG

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Concept & Editor-in-chief Valerio D‘Alimonte

Edition Total editions: 70,000 English edition: 20,000 Languages English, French, German, Luxembourgish Interreg-V-A-Project The production of certain photos and texts was supported by the European Regional Development Fund “Digital Tourism Marketing for the Greater Region” Advertising hello@luci.travel

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