On the banks of river Sûre, Diekirch perches on the central west terrains of Luxembourg. The primary settlements in the region forgoes to Belgian Celtic tribes, which flourished under the ruling of the roman empire: excavated remains of a roman network to Treveri, or the historic Diekirch, and the roman villa Rustica are the town’s testimonies of antiquity. A Paleo-christian church, medieval buildings, modern cultural centers, higher education schools, and vestiges of the world wars constitute the town’s cultural pillars.
Sitting amid the wilderness of Haardt Nature Reserve, the urbanscape is encircled by verdant slopes of Seitert, the military peak of Herrenberg, and numerous hiking and cycling trails from scenic crests to lowland streams. To find out more, here is our list of the top 15 attractions in Diekirch.
1. St. Laurentius Church
The name of Diekirch is derived from old german, translating to ‘People’s Church‘. Though the borough’s history dates back to the Roman era as a well-established colony, evidence shows that it was almost entirely abandoned in the late 3rd century. As a Gallo-roman inhabitant with non-christian precepts, Charles I ordered the construction of a Franciscans church at the city’s center. It was formed on the remains of a pre-existing Roman villa throughout the 6th and 7th centuries.
The church carries several elements from distinct timelines; remains of the roman walls on the interior, a cross built by the roman hollow bricks in the 7th century, an additional Romanesque bell tower from the 12th century and decorative and architectural designs in gothic essence between the 15th and 18th century; such as Flemish fresco illustrations of Saints Eligius and Laurentius, and the statue of Saint Rochus.
Enlisted among the national monuments, this structure stands as the cultural epicenter of the medieval and modern Diekirch, the town’s pillar of faith and the oldest church across the grand duchy.
2. Musée d’Histoire Diekirch
Next to the church of Saint Laurentius, the Museum of History demonstrates artifacts and excavated relics of Diekirch. The museum aims to shine a light on the town’s history, prior to the formation of the grand duchy; Roman mosaic decorations from the church of Saint Laurentius, vestiges of medieval monarchs, the residential relinquishment in the 4th and 5th century, artifacts illustrating the practice of paganism and its conversion to Christianity.
Once a Presbyterian foundation, the Culture House of Diekirch is home to temporary art exhibitions. Noted as a national monument, the white-washed structure was built in the mid-18th century. As an affiliated association to the History Museum, it harbors creative workshops on a regular basis and occasional events.
3. Conservatoire National de Véhicules Historiques
A national brewery museum, large collections of vintage automobiles, and the exquisite architecture of the structure itself are the highlights of the National Museum of Historical Vehicles. The building was owned by Jean Wagner, a car manufacturer; marking the grand duchy’s only historic site related to car manufacturing.
Although most of the date of the component prior to 1940, the latest vehicle was manufactured in the 1970s, marking the interval study of Conservatoire. Famed as a rare spectacle among the admirers of vintage vehicles, it offers an integral view over the evolution of automobile engines; anything from retro cars in prime conditions, first few editions of cycles and motorbikes to naked engines and rare documents.
4. Donkey Mascot
When it comes to good luck charms, donkeys hold a special place in Diekirch, hence its nickname, the city of donkeys. This hardworking animal represents the township’s Mascot; an animal that provided transportation and carried the agricultural load of the region for thousands of years until the development of locomotive lines.
At proximity of the pedestrian zone, Fontaine des Ânes is the Donkey Square of Diekirch, beaming with a bronze donkey statue, standing on a barrel.; an annual festival celebrates the tradition of brewing craft and the fountain overflows with beer instead of water. However, the installation of the luck bearing donkey at the town’s old quarters is not the only portrayal of the ducal beast of burden.
The wind cockerel of Saint Laurentius’s church was removed and replaced with a donkey wind vane in 2013. These symbols are interpreted as both charmingly humorous and unique to this locality. Other instances of the emblematical donkey sit at the proximity of the church, the statue of Saint Nicolas sided by his loyal ride, and another square with the curious statue of a gold-excreting burro and a boy, collecting the gold coin in his hat.
5. Dikrecher Brewery
The town of Diekirch prides itself on a longstanding legacy of brewing high-quality beer. This ancient craft is a living art among the locals and offered in several antique bars and restaurants, bordering the pedestrian precincts. On the top floor of the fascinating museum of vintage vehicles, the neo-classic building harbors the beer-museum of Dikrecher Brewery.
The commercial eminence of the beerhouse is illustrated in assemblages of posters, neon signs, branded mugs and glasses, hand-drawn plans of the structures and overview, and many other advertisement items. The beer-museum takes a leap into the journey of the town’s oldest brewery through time, while capturing the essence of over two centuries of a commercial approach to craft beer.
6. National Museum of Military History
In 1985, the military vestiges of World War II were gathered at the town’s antique brewery. The National Museum of Military History primarily focused on the Battle of Bulge that affected the municipality severely. The presentations consist of a series of military vehicles belonging to Korean, German, Luxembourgish, and American co-involved troops, life-size figurines of soldiers and non-military residents, belongings of combatants, photo archives, and relics of January 18, 1945; remembered as one of the bloodiest combats at the banks of river Sauer.
Acclaimed as one of the comprehensive exhibitions of World War II throughout Europe, the museum established another section, showcasing the military chronicles of the grand duchy since its formation from the 10th century.
7. Bee Museum
At a stone’s throw from the decanal church, the Bee museum of Diekirch is dedicated to the life of domesticated honey bees and apiculture of the region from centuries ago. The collections parade distinctive sorts of ancient hives, particularly clay covered reed baskets, its evolution to wooden-box beekeeping, and enhancement of airflow and sufficiency.
Tools and techniques of honey extraction and brewing fermented honey beverages, together with a complete overview of the lives of bees as a colony. With a culture emerging around crafting beverages, honey liqueur marks another brewing success of Diekirch. The museum offers a free taste of the liqueur and the authentic organic honey to the visitors.
8. Battle of Bulge
In December 1944, german troops advanced towards southern Luxembourg through the Luxembourgish Ardennes. once the offense reached Diekirch, it had occupied a large area to conceal the battle between the Nazi units, American defensive army, and Luxembourgish soldiers.
Today, the municipality honors the bitter memories of these battles, hardships, and endurance of the soldiers and civilians in multiple sights; US memorial installed in 1984, a monument of world war II fugitives sculpted by the Luxembourgish artist Wenzel Profant, and WWII victims memorial by Auguste Nicolas Trémont.
The passage that the german armies marched in means of occupation of Diekirch was inaugurated as a historic memorial of remembrance in 1981.
9. Nature Discovery Park
Nature tourism of Diekirch promotes the understanding and preservation of nature, by educating the visitors about the imbalances resulting mostly from human interaction. The municipal park of Bedigen spreads from the city boundaries and spans over 11 hectares of scenic farmlands, natural surroundings, and wilderness. Hiking trails connect the park in twelve points that illustrate panels, explaining existing issues in aquatic systems, soil and geological aspects, flora and fauna, complications, and solutions.
In between, The park also maintains an interactive zone with domestic farm animals including the town’s mascot, adorable local donkeys; marking a popular destination for young visitors, together with a restaurant and a playground area.
10. Lycée Classique
In the mid- 19th century, and before the Prussian German victory, the country participated in the formation of the Dutch federal army, known as Jäger battalions. A large pavilion was constructed in Diekirch to house the soldiers and accommodate immediate exit when necessary.
Titled as Lycée Classique, the complex served as a secondary school after eradication of the military station. During the battle of the bulge, germans had progressed to the heart of the city, as well as the occupation of Lycée.
11. Palace of Justice
As one of the most juridical sections of the country, the Justice House of Diekirch oversees the legal matters of the town and the various cantons, including Wiltz, Vianden, and Echternach. Besides its legal prominence, the edifice itself is one of the grand duchy’s national monuments.
Constructed in 1850, the building has gone through several restorations, in particular after damages introduced by world war II; yet retaining its neoclassical features.
12. Magistrate Court
The medieval sovereigns of Diekirch demanded a substantial part of the farm productions, specifically wine and cereals. “Bill House” was the title given to these official collecting stations, where the citizens paid their due in sacks and barrels. Following the modern civil movements, the building was refurbished to serve as a government component since the late-18th century.
Initially harboring the town hall, the government appointed the ancient “Balance House” as the Magistrate Court since the mid-19th century, henceforward. Distinguished as an interesting architectural phenomenon, the ancient frame is held together delightfully with modern doors, windows, and decorations.
13. Ciné Scala
Following the increase of population and development of the borough after the industrial revolution in the 19th century, the municipality grew its boundaries. Many of the industrial or commercial sites previously located on the rural outskirts sit in the central quarters of the city now, modified into modern structures.
Beaming with futuristic architecture, Ciné Scala rises on the location of an old wood and timber processing corporation. Developed in a large space, the theatre offers five halls with different seating capacities, futuristic amenities, and snack bars.
14. Adventure Sports and Hiking
Sprawling on the verdant slopes of Ardennes mountain, the municipality embodies a few of the grand duchy’s best cycling routes and phenomenon viewpoints. From biking trails of path de l’Alzette and Piste Cyclable de la Sure Moyenne on the peaks, and mellow hikes of Château de Bourscheid–Rouschtert Loop to Aussichtspunkt Hockslee Nature Hike.
Besides the scenic shores, the rushing stream is frequented by canoeing enthusiasts. At proximity to Diekirch, the canoeing permits are granted for riding on the waters of Sûre from Ettelbrück to Wasserbillig until the late summer. Similarly, Al Schwemm canal houses the White Water Center of rafting and canoeing, and perhaps the most popular spot for adventurous aquatic activities.
Forest Seitert is lined with three-arched passages and work-out stations with outdoor equipment, known as Montée de la Seitert Fridhaff. The fitness trail stretches 2.7 kilometers, concealed within a serene nature. In principle, the town lies between a tree-covered labyrinth of hand-curated paths and picturesque landscape.
Two major sections furnish facilities and a scenic ambient for outdoor camping close to Diekirch. On the hills on Sauer River, Camping de la Sûre lies only 500 meters from the town’s historic center. A small restaurant, the Smugglers Inn, caters to the visitors with authentic beer and wine, and dishes of both continental and typical cuisine origins.
Due to its position, the campsite is well-connected with the pathways that lead to Diekirch’s self-walk tour, encompassing a stretch of 2.2 kilometers of tourist attractions in the old quarters and newly developed modern amenities; such as the municipal football stadium, a state-of-the-art swimming pool with sauna, and synthetic tennis court for additional sportive activities.