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The centre of the city

LUXEMBOURG | Friday, 4 April 2008 | Views [837]

Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle


Every new place we go to seems to have to be seen through the eyes of our expectations. We go carrying the idea that it’ll be the best part of our trip, or something a friend said about the great cocktails in the bar on the street on the right, or just a general idea passed down to us through random media exposure.

Luxembourg was no exception.

I knew it was well known for its castles and fairytale landscape. I knew it had something to do with monarchy and was wealthy. Click Me for the official facts. (People don’t read travel journals for statistics and official information, do they?)

The Heart of the City

What I didn’t know, and what impressed me the most when I saw it, was the deep gorge in the heart of the city.  It was spectacular to the eyes, and deeply symbolic for me. I could live in a place like that, just for the deep hole it had at its centre. It holds its history, its life blood, and now people are using the area for leisure. I loved it. I loved to walk through the deep centre of the city. It was Autumn when we were there, and there was a certain stillness in the afternoon.

The Casements

The casements are the coolest thing about Luxembourg. ‘An underground labyrinth designed to house thousands of soldiers and horses, and the bakeries, kitchens and slaughterhouses necessary to sustain them. Originally 23 km wide and almost 40 m deep, most of it is dismantled or sealed off, except for a 13 km section still open to the public. The labyrinth was often used during the medieval age and in WWI and WWII, served as bomb shelters for 35,000 people. …The casemates are a UNESCO World heritage site.’  (I don’t usually paste and copy, but its summed up better than I could do it)

We visited a few Castles, and stayed a few nights in Vianden. If you want a picture perfect princess castle, then look no further. Its gorgeous and changes its appearance with the different weather and time of year.  It was overcast, and the trees were without leaves… and the whole place felt a bit creepy on approaching dusk.

We took a long walk and discovered amazing sand stone formations.  Again Autumn was the recurring theme and the earth was wet and heavy. We enjoyed it a lot.

My impression of the city overall was that it was quiet and conservative. Old fashioned and happy to remain so. 

However, like any one that has been around a long time, they have their secrets. There was a hint of something smothered and hushed, something that made me feel like breathing a bit more sensitively. If I was a deer, I would have picked up my ears, stood very still and sniffed  bit… but being human,  all I can do is write about it.












Tags: autumn, castle


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