A Good Luxembourg City Walk
Start at the Pont Viaduc, spanning the Pétrusse valley, for a view of the ledges on which the city was built. The Monument National de la Solidarité, at the north end of the bridge, commemorates Luxembourg's World War II victims. East of the monument stands the 17th-century fortress, the Citadelle du St-Esprit. To the northwest, along the city wall, lies Place de la Constitution and the entrance to the Casemates de la Pétrusse, the tunnels carved into the fortifications. A block north of the Place on rue des Capucins and two blocks east on rue Notre-Dame stands the late-Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame. East of the cathedral, the outstanding Musée d'Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg traces the city's history. The town's three main squares align diagonally from southeast to northwest: first comes elegant Place Clairefontaine, then the market square, Place Guillaume, and finally, the welcoming Place d'Armes. On the southeast corner of the Place d'Armes stands the Cercle/Palais Municipal. Once the residence of the dukes, the Palais Grand-Ducal, east of Place d'Armes, now hosts state occasions. Behind the palace is the square known as Marché-aux-Poissons, the oldest part of town. On the square, inside a row of 16th-century houses, is the collection of the Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art. Northeast of the museum is the Porte des Trois Tours, part of the original battlements. The promontory on which Luxembourg's original castle was built, Le Bock, with an entrance to the casemates, a fascinating museum, and some ruins, looms above the Alzette valley on the eastern side of the city. Return south to Place du St-Esprit, where you can take an elevator down to the Grund district, in the river valley below the Bock. Here the excellent, interactive Musée d'Histoire Naturelle explores the secrets of the natural world. North on the riverside rue Munster is the Baroque Eglise St-Jean Baptiste. In the other direction, past the confluence of the Alzette and the Petrusse, the parklands of the Vallée de la Pétrusse spread westward. Walk up narrow switchbacks from the valley or take the elevator to Place du Saint-Esprit and cut across on Boulevard Roosevelt to Boulevard Royal, Luxembourg's Wall Street. Perpendicular to Royal is Grand-Rue, Luxembourg's pedestrian-only shopping street. Northeast of the center, across the Pont Grande Duchesse Charlotte above the Pfaffenthal district, lies the Plateau Kirchberg, a moonscape of modern architecture housing banks and European Union institutions.
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