After many visits to wine caves and vineyards and even more wine tastings (cf. previous blog post), I am ready for some city life. Luxembourg Ville is the city of contrasts. Next to the traditional and historic city center surrounded by impressive rocks and romantic valleys with curving rivers, the Kirchberg plateau represents the modern and contemporary side of the city with its many European and financial institutions. The 110 bridges connecting the traditional and modern quartiers subsequently gave Luxembourg its name as ‘ville des ponts’.
Even if you only spend an afternoon in Luxembourg City, as I did, you should definitely check out the following highlights.
Definitely worth a visit is the Musée d’art moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM), conceived by the Chinese-born American architect Ieoh Ming Pei. Any time of the year you will find international exhibitions of all areas of contemporary art. From a geometrical point of view, the museum is conceived as an extension of the old fortress right next to it, and even built on the same foundations. The contrast of the asymmetrical V shape (45 degree angles) geometry of the museum with the fortress and its historic fortified walls is stunning. Furthermore, the building offers an outlook on the neighboring landscapes, giving you an unexpected view of the forest and its surroundings. From the balcony you even get a view on the historical city center.
3, Park Dräi Eechelen
Afterwards you should absolutely go outside and walk through the beautiful Park Drai Eechelen that surrounds the museum. Take a look at the artworks of Michel Desvigne, awarded the 2011 Luxembourg Architecture Prize in the landscape design category.
Hungry or not, don’t forget to stop over in the Mudam Café, designed by the French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. From noon to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy tasty brunches composed of regional products and local specialties. The new menu even includes vegetarian and vegan alternatives, gluten or lactose free. Install yourself on one of the long wooden tables and choose a book from the gorgeous bookshelves next to the bar and enjoy a mouthwatering brunch.
Gëlle Fra (Golden Lady)
After your brunch at Mudam Café, cross the valley and walk towards the historic city centre. On the Place de la Constitution, you will find a piece of Luxembourg’s pride. Gëlle Fra is the nickname the Luxembourgish people gave to the Monument of Remembrance, situated in the centre of Luxembourg City. It’s a war memorial, created by the Luxembourgish sculptor Claus Cito and aimed to commemorate the fallen Luxembourgish soldiers who fought as volunteers in the French army during World War I. In 2010, the Golden Lady was dismantled and moved to Shanghai, where she represented Luxembourg in front of the Luxembourgish Pavilion at the World Expo.
Place de la Constitution