The Best of… Luxembourg City
Compact in size, rich in history and big on attractions, Luxembourg is a truly best-kept secret in Europe, where the saying ‘extremes always meet’ comes true. Perched on a bluff at the confluence of the Petrusse and Alzette rivers, the city of Luxembourg goes by the same name as the country and is considered the second smallest member state of today’s European Union after Malta. It’s the heart of the country in cultural, political and social respect and a cosmopolitan town with much to offer its visitors.
Hotels in Luxembourg are bountiful, clustered in the city center, near the train station and on the Plateau Kirchberg, while the station area also offers numerous restaurants and fine shops foodies and shopaholics will surely appreciate. As to attractions and activities, the city never leaves visitors indifferent. Taking a hike through the historic center of the city, enjoying stunning vistas, or dining with locals are just some of the many activities you can indulge in your Luxembourg vacations, and below are those attractions that are not-to-be-missed for any visitor to this picturesque city.
To fully enjoy the charm of the Luxembourg City, allow yourself to simply wander. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the older part of town is where you’ll find most of the top attractions, including the famed Notre Dame Cathedral, the majestic Grand Ducal Palace and the Museum of the Fortress of Luxembourg at Fort Thungen, which is one of the best preserved fortresses in all over Europe.
Notre Dame Cathedral of Luxembourg
The Notre Dame Cathedral is definitely the most significant and adroit architectural wonder of the city that enjoys a distinguished position in the city’s celebrated landmarks. Built between 1613 and 1621 in late-Gothic style, the cathedral was originally a Jesuit church. The church has been restored for many times during the centuries, with the latest restoration carried out in 1977-78 to accentuate the vertical dynamism of the architecture and highlight sculptural elements.
The highlight of the church is the deep crypt, with its massive architecture of the twelve columns supporting the church above that contains not only the burial vaults of the Bishops, but also the vault of the grand-ducal family.
The cathedral is the scene of the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg, an annual ceremony on the 5th Sunday following Easter. This is the time, when tenth of thousands of pilgrims arrive to pray for protection to the miraculous statue of the Holy Virgin and then then, forming a procession carry the statue from the cathedral through the streets to an altar covered with flowers on av. De la Porte Neuve, north of place d’Armes.
Grand Ducal Palace
Built between 1572 and 1574 as a town hall in the Spanish Renaissance style, the Palais Grand Ducal is another must-see attraction in the city that evokes all the opulence of the Grand Duchy’s medieval splendor. The jewel of Luxembourg’s old town, the palace holds a strategic importance for the country since it’s the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The building we see today came into being when it was renovated in the year 1728 and was extended in 1741. Attached to the palace is the building of the Chamber of Deputies, the parliament of Luxembourg.
Annually some 8,000 visitors come to see the palace, particularly its unique interior and the majestic ceremonial rooms, enhanced by a light design by Ingo Maurer. The palace is easily accessible from the Old Town Luxembourg.
With picturesque streets, great attractions, plenty of cafes and restaurants and a range of accommodation, Luxemburg makes for a great destination sure to leave you satisfied and with great memories.