Theme Week Luxembourg – Esch-sur-Alzette

Friday, 28 August 2020 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, European Union, European Capital of Culture
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Town Hall © -wuppertaler/cc-by-sa-4.0

Town Hall © -wuppertaler/cc-by-sa-4.0

Esch-sur-Alzette is a commune with town status in south-western Luxembourg. It is the country’s second “city”, and its second-most populous commune, with a population of 35,040 inhabitants, as of 2018. It lies in the south-west of the country, on the border with France and in the valley of the Alzette, which flows through the town. The town is usually referred to as just Esch; however, the full name distinguishes it from the village and commune of Esch-sur-Sûre which lies 45 kilometres (28 miles) further north. The country’s capital, Luxembourg City, is roughly 15 km (9.3 mi) to the north-east. The town has the longest shopping street in Luxembourg. On November 10, 2017, Esch was selected by the European Council as the European Capital of Culture in 2022 on the recommendation of the responsible committee. The city shares this title with the Lithuanian city of Kaunas. In addition to the other ten municipalities of the PROSUD syndicate, the municipalities of the Pays Haut Val d’Alzette municipal association across the border in France will also take part in the events.

For a long time Esch was a small farming village in the valley of the Uelzecht river. This changed when important amounts of iron ore were found in the area in the 1850s. With the development of the mines and the steel industry the town’s population multiplied tenfold in a couple of decades. In 1911 the steel- and iron-producing company ARBED was founded. The development of the steel industry, especially in the south of the country, provided Luxembourg with sustained economic growth during the second half of the 19th century. In the 1970s, as a result of the steel crisis, the mines and many of the blast furnaces were shut down, the last one, in Esch-Belval, definitely halting its operations in 1997. The blast furnaces were replaced by an electric furnace that is fed with scrap metal rather than iron ore. Today the industrial wastelands on Belval left behind by the steel industry, are being redeveloped and converted into a new, modern town quarter. New cultural buildings such as the cinema Kinepolis Belval and the Rockhal, Luxembourg’s biggest concert hall, schools, flats and Belval Plaza, a shopping centre, have been built in the last years. One of the largest employers in the town is ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, which formed from the merger of Aceralia, ARBED, Mittal, and Usinor.

Rue de l'Hôpital © Zinneke/cc-by-sa-3.0 Saint Joseph church © Otets/cc-by-sa-3.0-lu Town Hall © -wuppertaler/cc-by-sa-4.0 Belval Quarter © Zinneke/cc-by-sa-3.0 Former Post Office building © Jwh/cc-by-sa-3.0-lu Rue de la Libération © Jwh/cc-by-sa-3.0-lu
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Former Post Office building © Jwh/cc-by-sa-3.0-lu
The area around the old blast furnaces will host different structures of the University of Luxembourg, many research centres and the national archives. Two of the University’s three faculties relocated there: The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education Sciences already moved in the summer of 2016, and the Faculty of Sciences, Technology and Communication in fall 2017.

Esch-sur-Alzette is home to the National Museum of the Resistance, which has material related to the resistance to German occupation during the Second World War. Lucien Wercollier‘s sculpture The Political Prisoner is in its entrance hall. Other tourist attractions include the large park, and the Berwart Tower, built in 1621.

The Lankelz miniature railway operates on Sunday afternoons and public holidays from May to mid-October. Esch is home to the Conservatoire de Musique. Founded as a school of music in 1926, it achieved Conservatoire status in 1969. There are two cinemas in the centre of the town, one called the ‘Ariston’ (which has since closed down), the ‘Kinosch’ and a third one called ‘Utopolis Belval’ is situated in the former industrial wastelands Belval. The main theatre is the Théâtre d’Esch. There is also the Kulturfabrik, a cultural centre in a reconverted abattoir which hosts performances of various kinds. The town is the site of one of the six regional headquarters of the Grand Ducal Police.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Esch-sur-Alzette, VisitLuxembourg.com – Esch-sur-Alzette, University of Luxembourg, Wikivoyage Land of the Red Rocks and Wikipedia Esch-sur-Alzette. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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