Thursday, June 13, 2024

Day Trip to Luxembourg

From Trier, Germany, we took a day trip to Luxembourg. It was short 40 minute drive to the American Cemetery (and then 10 minutes further to Luxembourg city).

There are 26 American military cemeteries around the world. On December 29, 1944, the Luxembourg cemetery was established, initially temporarily, to bury the casualties of the Battle of the Bulge. By the end of 1946, there were 8,412 soldiers buried here and it become a permanent cemetery. 

Monuments around the cemetery. There are two Walls of the Missing. Per the information at the visitor center, 23 missing service members have been found and their names have a bronze rosette by their name.

I had the kids look closely at the battle map showing the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhineland Campaign. We could see where were standing (the gold cross), and the cities that both kids schools are in (Oberursel and Wiesbaden) to the far right. It was so quiet and peaceful it was hard to image what it was like 80 years earlier.

There is only one woman buried in the cemetery, Nancy Leo was a nurse killed in a car accident. Other than a Cross versus the Star of David, the only grave marker that was different than the rest. General Patton was at the front of the cemetery with dark lettering facing his troops.

After spending time at the cemetery we drove a little further into Luxembourg city. Luxembourg is the seventh smallest country in Europe. The country is about 998 square miles and the capital, Luxembourg city takes up 132 square miles (about 13% of the country). If you recall, Luxembourg houses the judicial offices of the European Union. The landscape is large hills and small mountains.

We opted to do an hop on/off bus tour to see as much of the city in the 1/2 day we had left. We spotted the Spuerkeess Clock Tower and 19 Liberté Building (which I think houses a bank, there is a very big financial industry there).

We had lunch at a big mall in the main financial district and then headed over to the Bock Casemates which are a vast complex of underground tunnels that started as a castle in 996, became a fortification built into a rocky cliff wall in the mid 18th century, and were used as WWII bomb shelters.

Unfortunately, the Bock Casemates were closed and we couldn't walk through the tunnels. We hiked up the trail to the top and saw the remains of a tower. We also saw a modern arched bridge and narrow roads.

After hiking up the cliff, we hopped in the car and started to head back to Trier. We found a castle en route to Trier that we stopped at. We couldn't go in the castle (looks like events only), but we were able to roam the grounds. 

Grand-Château d'Ansembourg, also known as the New Castle of Ansembourg, is one of the castles in area called the Valley of the Seven Castles in Luxembourg. For a new castle it still has a lot of old looking sections.

I nickname these the annoyed teen girl statues.....eye roll and a girl asked to do a

The first time I recall seeing a male statue holding a child, how progressive.

Lots of beautiful roses in the gardens (we could hear yard work being done, but did not run into anyone).

Cool old stone shed with an archway to another garden.

More roses growing on walls, and gooseberries growing on a vine.

Cool entry to a secret passage within the hedges (the temperature was much cooler inside but it was full of annoying little bugs attacking you).

A arched doorway on our way out and a stone bridge going over a small stream.

After walking the grounds, we headed back to Trier, Germany, for the night. We drove home the next day.

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