As the capital of Ardennes ranges, Wiltz’s nature is a fusion of bold mountains and stretches of Obersauer Nature Park. Because of its geographical location, the town is often frequented by the hikers, cyclists, and adventure sports fans who are lured to the Grand Duchy’s Ardennes. However, for those who recognize the history of Wiltz, this inhabitation is a living memorial of medieval glories, to the bittersweet remembrances of the world wars, in particular the battle of bulge.
This historic influence is reflected in the cultural demeanor of the metropolis; in numerous museums, countless memorials, and the artistic masterworks exhibited in galleries or as urban art. Based on both cultural and natural gravitations, here is our list of the top 15 attractions in Wiltz.
In the north, the castle of Wiltz dominates the urbanscape, the river, and the encircling valleys. Distinguished as one of the most beautiful castles of Luxembourg, the first foundations as a defensive structure were put in the 13the century. However, for wars or expansions, the castle was renovated through five consecutive centuries.
These constructions played an important role in the drastic style shift in the fort’s sections; the 18th-century courtyard and staircase, 17th-century main hall, and fresco decoration from 15 to 17th century. “Tower of Witches” is a round watchtower, inherited from the late 15th century. Aside from the fanciful name, this structure stands as the oldest part of the fort.
Every summer, the castle welcomes artists and music enthusiasts from around the world, covering from classic orchestras to jazz and rock-and-roll. If you are in Luxembourg during the last week of June and mid- July, treat yourself to fine music, while enjoying the historical ambient at Wiltz Castle.
Regarded as one of the most ancient buildings in Wiltz, Decanal Church was built in the medieval ages, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. At the bottom of the church’s renaissance tower lie the tombs of Wiltz noble men, amassed through centuries. The initial sanctuary was expanded in the 16 century to set forth a vault and Flemish fresco decorations.
The decanal church gained its religious fame mostly after the battle of the bulge and the oath of Prosper Colling, and thereafter relevance of the church with the miracle of the salvation of Wiltz. Several shields, coats of arms, valuable artifacts and paintings decorate the church’s interior.
The entire canton of Wiltz conceals a great number of monuments often related to the great wars. In the resplendent gardens of the castle, the Sherman tank memorial is a token of Wiltz’s war memory and the city’s symbol of resistance. The unit was used during the battle of the bulge by the American troops; who ultimately abandoned the tank and retrieved it.
Marking Europe’s capital of scouts in Wiltz, the “One Penny” monument is a masterwork of Lucien Wercollier. It was built as a dedication to the president of Wiltz’s scouts, Eugen Weber.
As a monument of the Grand Duchy’s liberation, the memorial was erected in 1994, on the 50th anniversary of deliverance from the Nazi invasion. A span of three kilometers represents a strategic battle line that witnessed the most vicious battle of the country’s history. Countless young soldiers lost their lives and bled into the soil of ‘Schumanns Eck’ forest; a place known as remembrance hikes.
The memory of these fledgling soldiers is held at several sites on these hikes. Memorials include the name tags of a few American soldiers at the side of 160 German Wehrmacht who are buried in this area.
Wiltz depicts most of its contemporary history in its memorial edifices. The monument of Streikdenkmal was built as a tall cylindrical tower, a tribute to 21 men who were executed by the occupying Nazis. The severe punishment was a response to a small strike that appeared in Wiltz; it was the year 1942 and the workers of Wiltz revolted against the german oppressions. Though, the word of strike soon spread across the country, resulting in a nationwide boycott of organizations.
The tall monument, and its surrounding square with a fountain, is a charming station; to gaze at the bold figure that rises the honor of men who stood against the wickedness and lost their lives.
In 1944, during the battle of the bulge, the German troops had advanced over the country. Once the news of unstoppable invaders had reached the town, a few men and women, along with their spiritual leader Dean Prosper Colling, sought help from the faith. A prayer ceremony was appointed for the city’s salvage from the war and the promise of building a benedict crossway as a thanks offering.
Now, the monumental crossway with the representations of Christ and Our Lady of Fatima, symbolize the answered prayer of the people, and retreat of the German army in January 1945, on the day of Saint Sebastian the patron saint of soldiers. Thousands of pilgrims from southern Europe walk to their spiritual quest to the blessed sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima.
The crossway sits on a short hike to the north of the capital, on the heights of Ardennes rugged hills. Aside from the holy representations and the name tablet of 108 war victims, this spot is well known for the remarkable viewpoints of surrounding verdant valleys and snowcapped summits.
The canton of Wiltz prides itself on the excellence in beer brewing, with a history of 6000 years of bear production culture. At the horse barns of the ancient castle of Wiltz, the National Museum of Brewing Art exhibits artifacts that testify the ancient heritage of beer production and related material found in the canton’s excavations. Besides the artifacts and centuries-old evidence, the museum also brews their own artful beer at the Schloss’s microbrewery and offers free samples for providing a taste of authentically brewed beer collections.
A section of the cultural microbrewery is dedicated to the art of leather and its heritage as a regional craft. National Tannery Museum covers the history from 16try to 18th century tannery tools and historic accounts.
The garden of Wiltz is the place that humanitarian deeds meet with artistic creations. At proximity of Prabbeli Culture Center, the garden covers a vast area of two and a half hectares. The primary sustainers of the park are the senior veterans and individuals subjected to disabilities and unemployment. Artists from Luxembourg, Austria, and Germany have corporate their craft in building arched bridges, statues, and the parks’ labyrinths of stairs to verdant biotopes.
The garden also comprises a spring and an aquatic ecosystem at the center, which stands as a source of amusement. This quiet park is an optimum destination for families or those who seek a serene ambient with the fresh aroma of lush vegetation. A three-course meal restaurant is only paces from the park’s entrance, offering a great range of Wiltz’s quality liquors.
As the pulsating heart of Wiltz’s culture, Prabbeli once served as a brewery in the 19th century. Today, sections of the historic complex are divided into workplaces, a gallery, and a cinema. Most of the activities that take place in this center-surround intellectual and cultural endeavors, and in tune with humanitarians’ aspects; Art and cultural projects incorporate people with long-term disabilities or other vulnerable groups of society.
You can visit the temporary exhibitions at Prabbeli, watch a movie, or enjoy refreshments at the café, where you can appreciate the view of the classic architecture of the building and its pyramid top.
As a customary tradition of justice, Lord Gérard, otherwise known as Gérard of Wiltz, built across at the site of public court in the 16th century. It was a representation of upholding and seeking the truth. The four corners of the cross illustrate the four coats of arm of Wiltz; Bourscheid, Bassompierre, Bellenhausen, and Bassompierre. This cross has witnessed the court session taking place in three successive centuries.
Statue of the Virgin and St. Jean Népomucène, a saint of Bohemia, was added to the cross by the renowned artist Nicolas Jacques. Although the initial prestige was damaged several times during the French invasion and WWII, the cross faced numerous restorations; It yet bears the symbols of these historic events.
If you have ever wondered about the insider lives of the soldiers who fought in the significant battles against the Nazis, visit the Ardennes Offensive Museum. The core intention of the museum was to portray the suffering and losses the world wars brought upon Luxembourgers, in particular to the front line veterans and commanders. Most of the exhibition evolved around the year 1944-1945.
These displays are arranged in unique chambers, representing the soldier dorms, strategic rooms, and wax figurines of important personas; In specific, valuable relics and scriptures from the notable persons who are regarded as war heroes. Comprehensive collections from documents- including important war orders to love letters written or received by soldiers- to historic pictures, warfare artifacts, and even uniforms, occasionally with fatal bullet marks. Every detail emphasizes the new generations of the grand efforts of their ancestry.
In effect, the township of Wiltz bravely resisted against these invasive attacks; though the residence offered high prices, they defeated the occupying troops. The City of Martyr is the honorable title of Wiltz for its residence not only for their own lives but for the entire Grand Duchy.
Michel Rodange holds the title of the national epic poet and writer, who resided in Wiltz in the 19th century, composing the renowned poem of Reinert. Today, the house of Rodange harbors the Café Reinert; offering a refined dining experience at the historic ambient of the poet’s dwelling.
Wiltz is a home to the Rodange monuments consisting of a large basin, a fountain monument, a symbolic door with the poet’s stanzas and lastly, the statue of Michel Rodange. These astonishing monuments are found in various corners of the century-old Municipal park by Adolphe Deville.
The park itself is a green refuge with a vast number of trees, water passages, and waterfalls, a large greenhouse, and complemented with the masterpieces of the celebrated professor.
After the spread of black plaque throughout Europe, Wiltz was not exempt from the deadly pandemic. In the 16th century, the town suffered a heavy impact, losing two-thirds of the entire population. Upon such unfortunate times, Noble families of Wiltz constructed a large sand-stone cross as a tentative request for mercy on the township.
An old cemetery was assigned at the proximity of the resting place of the residents who died of the black plague. Though, between the marble tombs and humbly earthed graves, some suggest the passing date of some individuals from the 19th century; after Wiltz’s waters became infected with Cholera in 1866, causing another wave of pandemic deaths.
As the country’s base-camp of Ardennes, Wiltz boasts with a breathtaking landscape of cragged summits that mellow down to waterfalls, river streams, and finally soft meadows and lush forests. As one of the most beautiful settings in northern Europe, this canton is veined with small and large trekking trails, in particular the National Trail of Wiltz. It is a loop that starts at Wiltz town and ends at Goebelsmuehle.
Besides the pleasure of strolling in Ardennen nature, cycling, and hiking trails, a handful of picturesque hamlets persuade many visitors every year. Sitting on the high altitude cliffs, Kautenbacha is noted for its medieval castle, Château de Schuttbourg, and spectacular vista.
J. L. Isidore Richard is one of the most notable men in Wiltz, who lived a century ago as a distinguished philanthropist, human-rights activist, and a man of charity. Most of his activities related to the movements against alcoholism and poverty. An instance of his donations is reflected at Sanatorium Ruins, also known as the Kaul. the area beams with an evident mingling of work of art and ancient ruins. It is founded on the principles of “The State of Education in Wiltz”, by the artistic hands of Edmée Marth.
Encircled by the forests of the city’s confine, Kaul camping site covers a vast area, designated for caravans and outdoor camping fans. The complex encompasses complete outdoor amenities such as camping stations with cleaning services, Bonfire settings, playgrounds, and the most enticing of all, Piscine Kaul; the well-organized aqua park that offers slides, spirals, and a heated pool for the colder months. Kaul swimming pool includes a baby swimming area for the junior visitors and a bistro with delicious snacks and refreshments.
Wiltz is a wonderful town and canton, sprinkled with war thumbprints, resistance signs, and lush nature. Food in this region takes its traits from Ardennes cuisine; with the substance of German ingredients and fineness of French culinary techniques. An occasion for immersing oneself in Wiltz’s culture, art, history, and culinary is at the annual festival that takes place in Schloss von Wiltz. In the month of July, this festival features both prominent and emerging artists in all fields of visual arts; ranging from spectacular acrobats, eminent theatre plays, sculpted masterworks, and canvas expositions.