While some of Luxembourg City’s districts are predominantly dominated by modern and contemporary buildings, its city centre is still very much reminiscent of its turbulent past as a fortress city. From medieval architecture to remains of fortifications which are still largely intact to this day, a walk around Luxembourg’s city centre will transport you back in time. It is therefore no wonder that Luxembourg City, its old quarters, and fortifications were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List back in 1994.
The picturesque old town, nestled in the heart of the city centre, is full of must-see historical jewels, including the Grand Ducal Palace, the Grand Duke’s official city residence, and the gothic cathedral “Notre-Dame de Luxembourg”. Just a short walk from the old town, just past the picturesque “Marché-aux-Poissons”, is located the infamous Bock Promontory. It was here that Count Siegfried decided to build a small fortress called “Lucilinburhuc” in 963, which later became the foundation of what is today known as Luxembourg City.
Deep underneath the city lies the capital’s hidden gem: the “casemates”. This kilometre-long underground network of tunnels under the entire city made Luxembourg one of the most coveted strongholds back in the day. The city even became known as the “Gibraltar of the North”. While the underground tunnels had to be dismantled following the Treaty of London in 1867, about 17 kilometres of fortifications were spared, with some parts even accessible to the public. Today, the casemates are among the most popular tourist attractions in Luxembourg.
Hailed as “Europe’s most beautiful balcony”, a stroll along the “Chemin de la Corniche” is another must when visiting Luxembourg City. This pedestrian path runs along the city ramparts, built in the 17th century. From up there, you can enjoy breath-taking views of the picturesque Grund district, which is situated in a valley on the banks of the Alzette river. Often described as “a village within a city”, the Grund is the perfect place to unwind and escape the buzz of the city.
Come visit Luxembourg City and experience first-hand why the capital has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site!