The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

In late May 2012 I travelled to Luxembourg which is bordered by Belgium, Germany and France. What a beautiful and friendly little country it is.

Luxembourg City (founded 963) is surrounded by massive walls and fortifications that once protected the city (the location of the city has always been of strategic importance) and it is very picturesque as it is built on multiple levels with a lower and upper city within and outside the fortress walls. It is very green with lots of trees.

Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City
Central Bank of Luxembourg
Central Bank of Luxembourg
Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City
Lower Luxembourg City
Lower Luxembourg City
fortress walls luxembourg
Fortress Walls
Luxembourg city
Taking in the view with a duck!

You can wander past the Grand Ducal Palace of the Grand Duke (currently Henri who assumed the throne in 2000) and take in the sights of the rest of the old city at a leisurely pace (think high-end stores).

Grand Ducal Palace Luxembourg
Grand Ducal Palace
Grand Ducal Palace
Grand Ducal Palace

While I was there the city was hosting a free American Music festival which had a large crowd and was a great way to spend an early summers evening with a beer and a sausage in bread.

sausage
Yum!

I had the opportunity to travel not only to Luxembourg City but also a number of other places around the country including Diekirch, Ettelbruck, Wiltz and Troisvierges. Diekirch to the North of Luxembourg City is a nice looking town. I went there to visit the National Museum of Military History that has a great collection specifically focused on the Battle of the Bulge that took place in the Winter of 1944/45 and then the later conduct of the military of Luxembourg in peacekeeping and other duties.

M47 Patton Diekirch
US M47 Patton Tank – Diekirch
Sherman Firefly Diekirch
US Sherman tank – Diekirch
M3 Halftrack Diekirch
US M3 Halftrack – Diekirch
German Sd.Kfz. 251
German Sd.Kfz. 251 Halftrack – Diekirch
Hetzer
German Hetzer Tank Destroyer – Diekirch
Kubelwagen Schwimmwagen
German Kubelwagen, Sd.Kfz. 251 and Schwimmwagen – Diekirch

Nearby is the town of Ettelbruck that has a great memorial to General George S. Patton (1885 – 1945). There is also a museum dedicated to Patton in Ettelbruck but I did not have time to visit it on this trip.

General George S Patton
General George S. Patton

General Patton was instrumental as the commander of the US Third Army in the battles involved in the final defeat of Germany in World War Two including the Battle of the Bulge around Luxembourg. Although he died in Germany in 1945 from a head injury suffered in a relatively minor car accident (not the way a fighting man wanted to go) he is buried in the American Military Cemetery in Luxembourg City where he wanted to be buried with his men.

General Patton Luxembourg Ettelbruck
General Patton memorial in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg and grave site in Luxembourg City
M4 Sherman Patton Memorial Ettelbruck Luxembourg
M4 Sherman tank at the Patton Memorial in Ettelbruck
Patton Memorial Ettelbruck
General Patton Memorial – Ettelbruck
M4 Sherman Patton Memorial Statue
General Patton Memorial – Ettelbruck

On my way to Bastogne in Belgium I briefly stopped in Wiltz to take a look at the town and old buildings. Also very picturesque. After a day in Belgium I returned to Luxembourg and stayed in the northern town of Troisvierges at a nice little hotel restaurant just outside of town and enjoyed wandering around the quiet streets.

Wiltz Luxembourg
Wiltz

Troisvierges translates to “The Three Virgins” – apparently the town was originally part of an ancient cult dedicated to worshipping these virgins! It is also the town where German soldiers first started their Western Front offensive in World War One in 1914. Luxembourg was occupied for 4 years following this event.

Auberge-Restaurant Lamy - Troisvierges
Auberge-Restaurant Lamy – Troisvierges
Troisvierges Luxembourg
Troisvierges
Troisvierges
Troisvierges

The countryside around Luxembourg ranges from forest to rich and very green farmland. The small back roads provide a great way to take in the special beauty of a country that I think most tourists never get to see as it is overshadowed by its much larger neighbours. If you get the chance I thoroughly recommend taking at least a day trip outside of Luxembourg City to see what else the Grand Duchy has to offer.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg Countryside
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3 Comments Add yours

  1. bergamas says:

    The Sherman tank at the museum at Diekirch is not a Firefly, It’s a M4A1(76)w-HVSS (US name), Sherman II AY (British name.
    Greetings from Belgium
    Timothy

    1. Deano says:

      Thanks Timothy, the gun calibre through me!

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