Architecture Around the World

Ville Basse Valley and the Grund
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Luxembourg City is the capital of Luxembourg.  The capital's history unfolded in the year 963, when a Siegfried, count of the Ardennes, founded his castle, which became the fortress known as the "Gibraltar of the North."

The Grund, or "Gronn" in Luxembourgish, one of the first neighborhoods to surround the new castle, is located in the huge but shallow Ville Basse valley below the center of Luxembourg City on the banks of the Alzette River.

In addition to being a picturesque area, the Grund is a popular nightlife precinct which can be accessed by foot or via a lift which descends through the cliff. In 2001, the quarter had a population of 781 people.
Photos taken on February 2012

Pont Adolphe, built between 1900 and 1903

The “Casemates,” part of a once 13-mile network of man-made underground caverns hewn into solid rock, and used in times of siege to house men, horses and amour from 1644 onwards. More information below the photographs.

[Starting in 1443], engineers constructed there rings of battlements, 24 forts and 16 other blockhouses as well as 23 km of underground workings. These fortifications could not only accommodate thousands of soldiers plus their equipment and horses but also housed workshops, kitchens, bakeries, etc.

In the early 19th Century the Grand Ducky was demilitarized. It took 16 years to dismantle the fortress and part of the city was destroyed when its walls were dynamited. Some entrances were sealed and some roads blocked off, but 17 km of the galleries remain, and some of these are multi-leveled.

During the World Wars One and Two the fortifications served as a shelter for the 35,000 people who  sought safety during the air raids.

- "A Walk Through Luxembourg." Booklet available form the Tourist Office

Photos and their arrangement 2012 Chuck LaChiusa
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