Walking Tour of Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City is an elegant city with an old town which harkens to its history of siege and battle. It is a veritable fortress, rising above the Petrusse River (really not much more than a stream). The old town is fairly compact, easy to walk, and includes a number of significant sights.
My walk begins in the main gathering place in town, the Place d’ Armes, a cute little square lined with shops and cafes. At the east end is the City Palace, the most prominent building on the plaza, which houses the Tourist Office. On the opposite side of the square is the Dick-Lentz Monument, dedicated to two Luxembourg poets.
Exit the square at the southeastern corner, to the right of the City Palace, on Rue du Cure. Turn right on Rue du Marche aux Herbes to visit the Palace of the Grand Dukes, an elegant building constructed with light-colored stone. It dates to 1572. Now, turn right on Rue de la Reine, which leads into William Square, whose centerpiece is the stately, equestrian Statue of William II, a former Grand Duke. Town Hall is on the southern perimeter of the large square.
Walk across the square and exit at the western end, then turn left onto Rue Chimay, which leads across a large, busy boulevard into the Place de la Constitution. The Gelle Fra Memorial Column, dedicated to fallen soldiers, dominates the open space. There are great views across the Petrusse River to the new town, from the terrace, and also access to the Petrusse Casemates, underground fortifications along the river.
Now walk east on the Boulevard Franklin D Roosevelt. On your left is the impressive Notre Dame Cathedral, a Gothic edifice which dates to the early 17th century. Just beyond the cathedral, turn left on Rue de la Congregation, to get to Clairfontaine Square, with its Grand Duchess Charlotte Memorial.
Walk to the east side of the square and turn right onto Rue du St-Esprit, which brings you to another plaza, Holy Ghost Square. Wander around the square, especially along the ramparts, for more glorious views.
Leave this area, near the fountain, by turning right and following a winding, downhill path called the Promenade de la Corniche, a pleasant walkway along the edge of the river valley, once dubbed “the most beautiful balcony of Europe.” When you reach Rue Sigefroi, turn right toward the Bock Promontory. Here, there are remnants of more old fortifications, including the Bock Casemates, another section of underground defense works.
Now, backtrack to Rue Sigefroi and walk west (straight), past St Michael’s Church, onto Rue Bouchene. To your right is the Fishmarket, once the Old Town’s Main Square. Nearby are the Goethe Monument and the National Museum of History and Art, probably the city’s best museum.Continue west on Rue Bouchene, and then straight ahead on Rue du Cure, which brings you back to the starting point of the walk, Place de Armes.