A taste of Portugal in Luxembourg!

Luxembourg Travel Blog

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The red bridge leading to Kirchberg area of the city in the background. Mostly EU buildings there however

It's a bit of a joke to call Luxembourg City a, well, city as its really not much bigger than a large town however it is still the biggest place in the Duchy of Luxembourg by some margin (althrough I guess there's not really much competition in a nation that's smaller than my home county of Somerset). However it is a lovely little place that's well worth a visit if only for the day. Built into the hills with a gorge dividing it, Luxembourg City makes a great daytrip to a usually ignored country.

The tour I took from Brussels allowed us a lot of spare time after the obligated sections (ie: lunch, which was actually suprisingly good and all made of local produce, including the extremely strong snapps that I only wish I'd had the sense of mind to buy a bottle of!) to wander around the city for several hours, givng us time to take in the various memorials and arcitecture of the buildings that decorate it and the great gorge that goes straight through the centre of this tiny European captial (as there's no water down there, its been turned into a park-like area where you can walk from one end to the other.

The 'Gelle Fra' WWII memorial
Useful to get out of the summer heat).

The obvious highlight is the main square where we were lucky enough to happen upon a festival celebrating, oddly enough, Portugese culture in Luxembourg complete with a stage for singers, dancing, crafts, etc of Portguese style and enough Portugese football shirts to kit out 7 full teams! Apparently this is to celebrate Luxembourg's Portugese minority. Nice thought but given the head count of this nation, that's a seriously small minority.

The square is right across from the Duke of Luxembourg's Palace, which is easily the most impressive building in the city after the church. It even comes complete with one soldier who starts marching as soon as he notices tourists are looking and taking photos (he'd be rather stationary before, if not with a half asleep look on his face.

Grand Ducal Palace, home of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Guess he doesn't get many incidents here). Besides that, the Cathedrale de Notre Dame sits impressively just across from the Golden Lady, literally a statue of a golden lady on a pillar holding a wreath as a sign of victory. It is now a memorial to those who lost their lives for the allies in WWII, through why they choose to build a car park around it escapes me. On the subject of WWII, those intresting in it can visit the American cemetery, the final resting place of over 5000 US soldiers, most of which died during the Battle of the Bulge, which also contains the grave of the infamous General George S. Patton.

Our little trip pleasently included lunch in a fairly upmarket hotel and complimentry snapps (a Russian couple asked the waiter to leave the bottle, to his surpise.

I can only assume he's never met a Russian before) as well as stopping at a few small villages in Belgium on the way back to Brussels, one of which was built in a gorge over a river and the other had a small, nifty little castle.

While Luxembourg is unlikely to capture everyone's imagination and any stay longer than a day or two would leave its vistor straining for anything new to see or do, this tiny capital city of one of Europe's smallest countries certainly shouldn't be overlooked by any traveller who happens to be in the area, if only for the awesome snapps!

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The red bridge leading to Kirchber…
The red bridge leading to Kirchbe…
The Gelle Fra WWII memorial
The 'Gelle Fra' WWII memorial
Grand Ducal Palace, home of the Gr…
Grand Ducal Palace, home of the G…
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photo by: Vikram