Sunday, December 16, 2012

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

How could we pass up the opportunity to go to Luxembourg, Europe's 7th smallest country, when we were such a close drive away and had been to all of its bordering countries? In our minds there was no question... it had to be done. After our stay in Burgundy we took a leisurely drive through the countryside of France to neighboring Luxembourg.

There were a lot of huge windmills on our drive  
Luxembourg City is not a big city by any means, but it is the capital of this very wealthy country. And just in case you wanted some extra trivia, in 2011 it was ranked 1st in the world for personal safety and has a population of about 100,000. The city has a beautiful landscape set atop steep cliffs that drop into narrow valleys.

We spent a lot of our time wandering and strolling the streets, and checking out the different Christmas markets. It was really enjoyable walking from stall to stall listening to the music being played, getting gluhwein served in our souvenir mugs, and standing by the fire pit trying to keep warm while snowflakes gathered on our hats.

Jon with the boot mug

Keeping warm with vin chaud

One of the markets from afar

Of course we did spend some time walking around the city. We wandered through the streets and came across the Palais Grand-Ducal. Royals once lived there when it was built in the 1500s, but now it is used as the Grand Duke's office and for formal receptions. We passed by churches, museums, and over bridges that connect the old town to the rest of the city. We also passed the historic Luxembourg Castle.

Palais Grand-Ducal


Luxembourg Castle
Lastly, we visited the American Military Cemetery located only three miles away from the city. In this peaceful and tranquil setting, lie more than 5,000 U.S. soldiers from WWII, including General Patton. Numerous rows of crosses and some stars line the grounds, most of them carrying the names and date of death of the fallen soldiers. There are around 300 unidentified crosses here. General Patton's grave stands alone, but is situated in front, facing the rest of the graves... almost like he is still leading his men. The grounds are gorgeously maintained with large murals of maps showing the invasion of the allies during the war. The cemetery is a memorable and inspiring way to honor those who gave their lives trying to defeat the enemy. As Americans visiting Luxembourg and with Jon serving in the Navy, we felt it was our duty to pay respect to these fallen heroes.

The entrance

We're really glad that we took a side trip to Luxembourg. We had an enjoyable time wandering the streets and had a memorable experience at the cemetery. While small in size, Luxembourg has a lot to offer and should not be skipped over if one is nearby.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know anything about Luxembourg City until I read this blog. It sounds like it's a quiet and very nice place with very nice people. I wasn't surprised to the see the windmills. It just seems to me that a place that is named Luxembourg would have windmills there. The snow made the city seem very quaint and beautiful and definitely ready for the holidays! And most important, it was so nice to see that there is an American Military Cemetery honoring so many fallen U.S. soldiers.