When In Luxembourg
By Tillie Eze
There are quite a few things to see and do while in Luxembourg, so we’ll start with my solo excursion in Luxembourg City. Sometimes the best sightseeing are the one you discover on your own, while randomly taking buses and being too proud to admit, “I’m lost.” Hey… my pride is your gain.
All photos taken with Ricoh’s PENTAX K-50.
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Opened in 2005, this concert hall resembles an air conditioner filter atop an angled platform.
Designed by Christian de Portzamparc, the outside façade houses 823 steel columns arranged in rows of 3 or 4. Inside sits a foyer that encircles the Grand Auditorium, and an organ by Karl Shuke that offers both classic and symphonic sounds. And since November 2005, it has been a member of ECHO, (European Concert Hall Organisation), honoring the largest concert halls of Europe.
With a maximum occupancy of 1,500 of the 3 rooms – Grand Auditorium, Salle de Music de Chambre and Espace Découverte – the Philharmonie plays host to over 400 performances a year as well being the permanent residence of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Image by VT98Fan
MUDAM (Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean)
A little ways behind the Philharmonie sits MUDAM, a modern art museum built in the heart of the financial capital to add a bit of culture to its life.
It was named to commemorate the 25 year reign of H.R.H. the Grand-Duc Jean, Grand-Duc of Luxembourg. In its entry sits a permanent relief of Le Grand-Duc Jean et La Grande-Duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte by Stephan Balkenhol.
Upon further inspection you’ll come upon 3 floors of visual works by artists from around the world. During my visit, 3D pieces by Folkert de Jong hung from the ceilings, l’Image Papillon was on view as well as an interactive ink fountain by Su-Mei Tse. Equipped with a gift shop, park and café, MUDAM, internally and externally, is a true example of modern art and design.
Musée Dräi Eechelen
And further behind MUDAM sits Musée Dräi Eechelen – a historical museum living in the restored Fort Thüngen.
Inside houses a permanent exhibition showcasing the country’s history from The Middle Ages to the construction of the Adolf Bridge in 1903. No photography is allowed and there are constant patrolling of security, so don’t try your luck.
It’s not as interactive as most would like, but over 600 objects and original documents more than make up for it. There are underground galleries, not suited for the claustrophobic, the “Luxembourg 4D” documenting the political, economic, social and cultural development through animation, and much more. Be ready to spend lots of time in awe of what relics have been kept or restored to immaculate condition and to discover the unexpected story of Luxembourg.
Musée Dräi Eechelen
The Family of Man
The city of Clervaux in Luxembourg holds one of the most iconic exhibitions of real life from around the world, as seen through a camera lens – Family of Man.
A story with 503 photographs, by over 250 artists from more than 50 countries, compiled by the master, Edward Steichen, was originally created for the MoMA in 1955. The collection travelled worldwide until 1964 when the American government gifted it to the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg as it was Steichen’s wish that “the most important work of his life” permanently reside in Luxembourg.
Seen as an expression of equality amongst all people post-war, each photograph conveys an understanding: no matter the “wealth” each participant holds, we are all one.
Family Of Man
“There is only one man in the world and his name is All Men. There is only one woman in the world and her name is All Women. There is only one child in the world and the child’s name is All Children. A camera testament, a drama of the grand canyon of humanity, an epic woven of fun, mystery and holiness – here is the Family of Man.” – Carl Sandburg
What Do We See?
The exhibition takes you from birth to death by portraying different fashions of how humanity handles each situation.
It offers insight into human nature, culture, politics and life in a general sense.
It’s always difficult to discuss such evocative pieces of art without adding one’s personal beliefs. But, for me, it was a brilliant exposé on how the world has changed and ironically stayed the same in many cases. Grown technologically but slow to advance of justice, poverty and the major issues that continue to cause a divide.
A Different Perspective
We Two Form A Multitude...
The entire exposition was beautifully curated with photographs sectioned off thematically with proverbs or quotes denoting emotion of the images surrounding.
“We two form a multitude,” centers images of couples, inferring these “two” create more lives in the world continuum.
Featuring works by Robert Capa, Nick de Morgoli, Dorothea Lange, Wayne Miller and dozens more, the collection has garnered over 10 million visitors and been noted in the UNESCO Memory of the World register.
Chateau de Clervaux
Image by Jean-Pol Grandmont
Musée Européan Schengen
Opened in 2010, the European Museum Schengen stands as the permanent exhibition of both the Schengen Agreements from 1985 and 1990.
Located at the meeting point of Luxembourg, Germany and France, the Moselle River’s locale allowed for neutrality and proved the ideal spot to change history.
So many people don’t understand the basis of the Schengen agreement, but imagine a large mass of land with different cultures, languages, and practices, and that one day there were no longer any borders keeping you away. Places like Italy, Poland, and Austria can visit Luxembourg, France or The Netherlands by car without being checked for citizenship.
Imagine if the United States, Mexico and Canada’s inhabitants could travel throughout each others country with out fear. The Schengen Agreements broke down barriers and allowed underdeveloped countries to grow, and united Europe, or at least the countries who were part of the Schengen Agreement.
Throw Away The Key...
The exhibition houses video-installations of 28 people speaking in their native tongue, enough interactive information to hold anyone’s attention, and the chance to create your own faux Schengen passport.
Along the parameters of the museum are outside exhibits representing all the Schengen members – the bronze plaques stating the names of all 26 participants as spoken in their official language, the Pillar of Nations embossed with bronze plaques symbolizing each country (the Netherlands has a marijuana leaf), and a piece of the Berlin wall, which holds great significance.
My favorite part is the tradition of getting an engraved lock and placing it on your country of choice and throwing one set of keys in the Moselle River.
Musée Européen Schengen
Caves St. Martin
Did you know you can’t call Champagne, Champagne if it’s not made in the region of Champagne in France?
In Luxembourg, they are called ‘crémants’ and the taste is so exquisite and less bubbly, you may never want to have Champagne again.
In 1919, a group of men, post WWI came up with an idea to create a cave from a large mass of rock. By 1921, Caves St. Martin was born in Remich. The home of some of the most elite wines and crémants around, Caves St. Martin has garnered several awards recognizing their achievement in taste, prestige and regional superiority. I had the fortune of being toured by the owner, rather than his daughter, as she was away on vacation.
Caves St. Martin
Deep in this dark cold abyss lives the transformation from grapes to wines and crémants. It was like walking into a sommelier’s fairytale.
It must have been thousands of bottles being quarter turned daily, millions of grapes being harvested at the perfect moment, and each bottle being placed at the exact angle for perfection. It’s like a science experiment where any slight change could alter the outcome throwing away years of work.
That’s why for so many people, industries like this are not for those who are looking to get rich, but instead it’s for those who understand the larger things in life, the importance of doing what you love and most of all the beauty that is winemaking.