After trying to look through the tourist brochures available at the youth hostel I am staying at, I came to the conclusion that my best option for a day in Luxembourg was to buy the Luxembourg Card. This entitled me to free public transport, and free or discounted admission to several tourist attractions. For 11 euro this seemed pretty reasonable, plus it was basically the only brochure I could find in English!
First off I headed to the main attraction of Luxembourg, the Bock Casemates. These are old tunnels that were built into the old walls that used to surround the former fortress of the city. They used to extend of 20 kilometres, and housed soldiers, cannons and horses in order to protect the city from attack.
Tourist life. Next, I wandered back down into the valley of the old city and checked out the National Museum of Natural History. It was free with the Luxembourg Card, so I thought I’d check it out. Again, I couldn’t read any of the information (French, German or Luxembourgish!) but it was still worth having a poke around.
After lunch I checked out the National Museum of the History of Art. I’m not much of an art connoisseur, but it was fascinating to see the evolution of art over the ages as you progressed through the levels of the museum. About halfway up I heard a security guard tell someone off for taking photos, but I still managed a few sneaky snaps when no one was around.
My favourite exhibit was ‘Un Voyage Romantique’, which displayed a variety of intricate Romanticism pieces. From a distance, these paintings could almost pass as photos, but as you come up close you can see the minuscule and detailed brush strokes.
Upon leaving the Museum I discovered it was pouring with rain. My over confidence in weather once again saw me in a skirt, but I decided to persevere with a walking tour of the city.
The rain cleared up periodically, allowing the tour to continue relatively smoothly. The history of Luxembourg sounds fascinating, it is quite old, and was allegedly one of the largest and biggest fortresses of it’s day! You wouldn’t know now, you could drive across the country in an hour!
The above photo is (one of) the palaces of the Grand Duke. Luxembourg is officially the ‘Grand Duchy of Luxembourg’, meaning the Grand Duke/Duchess is still the head of state.
This quote (the name of this blog post) is the national motto of Luxembourg. It is in Luxembourgish, and translates to “we want to remain what we are”. It seems quite fitting, seeing as Luxembourg has experienced a lot of change over its history, yet still remains of its own despite many territorial claims from larger neighbouring countries.