Tuesday, January 3, 2012

European Microstates: Luxembourg Travels

Luxembourg was founded over 1,000 years ago and became a nice, neat and lively city. A wide variety of architectural patterns, bridges, cones and spikes of palaces and churches, monuments, parks, buildings of different periods and styles form a harmonious ensemble. The capital is the cultural center of the Duchy. Tourists will be delighted to visit the National Library, the Municipal Theatre, the Conservatory, the Symphony Orchestra, Luxembourg Radio, and the film studio. Particular attention should be paid to the National Museum, which gathers many of the exhibits including a marble bust of Septimius Severus, bronze statues of the Roman era, tombstones and fragments of medieval sculptures, the collection of minerals, exhibits of decorative and applied arts, and the beautiful paintings of German and Dutch painters.
In addition to the National Museum, the city is famous for many other museums and art galleries, such as Luxembourg City History Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Folk Life, the Museum of Weapons and Fortifications, the Museum of Ancient Musical Instruments, the Municipal Art Gallery and others.
Luxembourg is also a very beautiful city. The two rivers, Petrus and Alzeta, divide Luxembourg in two parts. In the upper town, you can see the houses built in Gothic style, the steeples and the towers against the background of cliffs. In view of this particular location, the city's 111 bridges play a special role in the architectural outlook of Luxembourg. In the center of the upper city, one can see the beautiful residence of Grand Duke. The palace with elegant turrets and a quaint faade is built in the Moorish style, in harmony with the House of the Parliament and the City Hall, built in 1830 in the best traditions of classicism. The city's main square looks even more gorgeous due to the Baroque cathedral of Notre Dame. In addition to the above mentioned monuments, the attractions of the Upper Town include the ruins of the Roman watchtower, the rock chapel of St. Kieran, the Gothic cathedral of Saint-Michel, the Palace of Justice and many others.
Luxembourg is home to various festivals and noisy celebrations. In February, there is a colorful carnival, in April one celebrates the Feast of the First Flowers, and the Catholic Octave festival. Sumptuous feasts fall on June and August, when wine festivals begin.
In the suburbs, you can see the old mill converted into an artistic workshop, the Ansemburg and Holenfels fortresses, and the thermal springs in Mondorf-les-Bains. One can take a boat walk on the river Moselle and explore its picturesque valley, visit the famous vineyards and watch spectacular boating and sailing competitions.
In addition to the capital, the northern town of Clervaux, has become a real hot spot for tourists due to its Gothic architecture and the unique impression of a medieval town.
Less than 12 miles from here is Vianden, which is considered one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities. This city is famous for the fact that Victor Hugo lived in it. The house, where he lived, has been turned into a museum that holds some things and books of the great French writer. To the east from this area, there is the so-called 'Luxembourg Switzerland' which is highly praised for its amazing nature. The landscape around the half-ruined fortress of Beaufort is especially beautiful.
The city of Echternach is one of the oldest cities in the country, and is about 1000 years old. There are many ancient buildings with fancy vaults and arches in this city. Echternach, along with the capital, is a recognized tourist destination, a place of numerous festivals and parades.

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