Luxembourg Towns

edited by Gary Little


The ancient castle at Beaufort was originally built in the 12th century and was later reinforced in the 16th century by Count Mansfeld, Governor of Luxembourg.


At Bourscheid is a partially-restored medieval castle built high on a hill overlooking the Sûre River some 450 feet below and providing a spectacular viewpoint for the surrounding countryside.


Capellen is located in the Mamer Valley, a region of lush pastures and extensive forests. Romans lived here in the past on the main highway between Reims and Trier.


This small town (pop. 1,000), located in a deep and narrow valley along the river Clerve in the heart of the Ardennes, is one of Luxembourg's most popular tourist destinations. The #1 attraction is the feudal castle (built in the 12th century by Gerhard von Sponheim, the first known lord of Clervaux) which features an exhibition of models of ancient Luxembourg castles and Family of Man, a collection of photographs by the famous American photographer Edward Steichen (who was born in Luxembourg). The castle was destroyed during the Battle of the Bulge (1944) but has been restored to its pre-war condition.

Another major attraction is the Benedictine Abbey of St. Maurice, built in 1910 in Romanesque-Burgundian style. It is situated on a hill overlooking the valley and has an exhibition focusing on the lifestyle of the Benedictine monks.


This is the site of the Grand Duke's castle, the principal residence of the royal family since it was remodeled in 1911. It is also the site of the Goodyear tire factory, the second largest employer in the country.


The Diekirch settlement dates back to pre-Roman times. The Roman occupation is evidenced by several stone walls, foundations of a temple, and three mosaics which can be viewed in the town museum.

The St. Laurent church (15th century), from which the town takes its name, is one of the oldest religious sites in Luxembourg and is built on the foundations of a 5th century Roman building. An altar from that period was discovered below the present floor during a 1961 restoration.

The oldest monument in Diekirch is the Deiwelselter (Devil's Altar), a large portal made of roughly hewn stone blocks. It may have been a Celtic sacrificial altar, although its origin is still not well understood.


Differdange, Luxembourg's third largest town, is an important industrial center known as "steeltown". It is well known for the Grey type steel girders it produces. The Marcel Noppeney Center features collections of minerals, fossils, and miner's tools.


Dudelange is known as the "Forge of the South" ("Forge du Sud"), a nickname which reflects its importance as an ironworks since the building of the first blast furnace in 1882. An iron and steel museum is located in Dudelange.


Echternach is located on the Sûre River and is a gateway to the popular "Petite Suisse" region. It is dominated by the old Benedictine Abbey, founded in the 7th century by St. Willibrord. The Basilica, the most important religious building in the country, contains a magnificent white marble sarcophagus in which are the remains of St. Willibrord. Another historical building is the Town Hall, built during the 15th century. Echternach is renowned for its unique "dancing procession" on Whit Tuesday, an event in which the participants move in an unusual skipping manner.


Esch-sur-Alzette is Luxembourg's second largest town and the center of the iron and steel industry. Attractions include the National Museum of the Resistance, the steelworks factories, and the Berwart tower (1621).


Esch-sur-Sûre is a small village clustered around a steep, high rock crowned by the ruins of an ancient castle (10th century) and nearly surrounded by a loop of the Sûre River. Nearby is the Lake of the Upper Sûre, a popular vacation destination created by the damming of the river in the 1960s to meet the country's drinking-water requirements.


Ettelbrück is known as the Gateway to the Ardennes and occupies a central location where the valleys of the Sûre and Alzette meet. It is home to the Patton Memorial and the Patton Museum, both in honor of the American general who led the victory over the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge of 1944-45.


Grevenmacher is the commercial center for the Moselle wine industry which was begun in earnest with the help of the government in 1890. It was originally a fortified town (13th century) until Louis XIV ordered the fortifications razed. Some towers and portions of walls remain to this day.


Junglinster is best known for the Radio Luxembourg transmission towers located nearby. The Baroque parish church is known for the tombstones of the knights of Linster.


Larochette is a small market town in a rocky valley surrounded by forest. High above the town are the ruins of a 14th-century twin castle with a view of the White Ernz valley. Another attraction is the Cross of Justice monument in the main square.

Luxembourg City

The "modern" origin of the capital city is considered to be 963, the year that Count Sigefroid acquired a small fortified observation tower called "Castellum Lucilinburhuc", located on the rocky outcrop of the Bock, from the St. Maximin Abbey of Trier. From this modest beginning, Luxembourg slowly developed into one of the most powerful fortresses of Europe. Although most of the fortifications were dismantled between 1867-1883, what remains is spectacular -- the foundations of the ancient castle atop the Bock, the Towers of Rham, the Three Towers, the Three Acorns (Fort Thüngen), and so on.

Modern Luxembourg City has become a cosmopolitan European business center and is home to the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice as well as numerous international banks.


Mersch is located in the geographical center of the country at the entrance to the Valley of the Seven Castles. A 1st century Roman villa contains a fully-preserved 245-foot bathing pool. Mersch Castle dates back to the 12th century although it has been reconstructed and extended many times since.


Mondorf is famous for its thermal baths and casino. The hot springs provide a highly mineralized water used to treat liver, gall bladder, stomach, and intestinal ailments. At the end of World War II, Mondorf was an interrogation center for Nazi war criminals.


Müllerthal (valley of carpenters) lies in the Black Ernz river valley and is a popular tourist destination in the heart of "Petite Suisse" (Little Switzerland). Nearby attractions include many large and unusual rock formations and caverns, dense forests, and Schiessentümpel, an artificial fountain in the bed of the Black Ernz.


This village is a regional center for administration, trade, banking, and arts and crafts. It is located in densely-wooded agricultural country. The parish church is of baroque design and dates back to 1771.


Remich is one of the most attractive tourist resorts on the Luxembourg Moselle. The original settlement was in pre-Roman-Gallo times although little remains of its ancient past. The church incorporates a Roman tower (12th century) on Roman foundations and the remains of the medieval fortress include the beautifully restored Porte St. Nicolas.


Rodange is located at the foot of the Titelberg (the site of an important Roman settlement for 500 years). It formerly derived most of its income from the iron and steel industry, but is now home to a variety of light industrial companies.


This small industrial town and mining center is the home of the National Mining Museum. For almost a century it was the center of Luxembourg's iron ore industry but the last mine was closed in 1978.


This town is situated between the Alzette valley and a ridge of high wooded hills rich with iron ore. The countryside around the town is picturesque, including those lands reclaimed from old mining areas.


Located in the heart of the Eisch Valley, this village takes its name from the seven springs which meet in the fountain in the village center. The fortress, originally built in the 11th century, is now privately owned.


Troisvierges is a tourist center in the far north of Luxembourg. The parish church dates from 1650 and features a high Baroque altar decorated with precious oil paintings.


This village is dominated by a massive keep which dates back to the 11th century. Two round Gothic towers and a defensive wall are from the 14th century.


Vianden is one of the great tourist towns of Luxembourg. Its grand castle, dating from the early Middle Ages, dominates the town and has been magnificently restored. It is one of the largest feudal fortresses in the area. A chairlift to the top of the valley provides a spectacular view of the castle and the entire area. Another attraction is the Victor Hugo museum located in the building where the famous poet lived in 1871 during his exile from France.


This is a large commercial center at the confluence of the Moselle and Sûre rivers. It is the embarkation point for the "Marie Astrid" and other pleasure boats. The parish church with bonnet-like steeples is worth seeing.


Wiltz is a commercial and tourist town in the heart of the Ardennes. It is home to a medieval castle and, adjacent to it, an open-air amphitheater where a theater festival is held each year. Other sites of interest relate to the harsh impact of World War II -- the National Monument to the General Strike of 1942 and the Battle of the Bulge museum.
HomeLuxembourg Central Last updated on August 9, 2004.