The first mention of Ettelbruck inhabitation goes back to the 10th century, while under the ruling of a medieval monarchy. Ever since its initial establishment, the succeeding sovereign authorities left behind their thumbprints; emblems of grand dukes and duchess, vestiges of the world war, and the economic boom of the metropolis are sprinkled across the urban infrastructure.
Founded on the fertile soil of river banks, the inundating landscape conceals the most biodiverse nature in the grand duchy, lined with idyllic trails. Designated as “Gate of the Ardennes“, Ettelbruck ranks as a favored destination for hiking, shopping, and cultural endeavors, accompanied by characteristic excellence. To explore the town and cross the gate into the Luxembourgish Ardennes, here is a list of the top 15 attractions of Ettelbruck.
1. Church of Saint Sebastian
The parish church of Ettelbruck honors the Benedictine spirit of Saint Sebastian, constructed in the order of Saints-Pierre-et-Paul. Although the foundation of this church does not forego a few centuries, it is regarded as a significant church in central Luxembourg; functioning as a Deanery Center, one of the six administrative facilities under the command of Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich.
The exterior reflects the Dutch-influenced baroque design, with gothic elements on the inside. Crossing a ribbed vault decorated with Flemish frescoes, the way leads to the church’s high altar, a masterful addition of the 19th-century German artist, Joseph Rifesser. Behind the altar lies the church’s pipe organ, produced by the only organ production company in the grand duchy since a century ago.
2. Agricultural School
Lycée Technique Agricole is the title given to one of the most interesting edifices of Ettelbruck, established as Schmit-Gengler Brewery in the late 18th century. Following the industrial revolution, the building adapted to a cultural role and harbored a school dedicated to science and technology of agriculture.
Recognized as a national monument, the structure stands as an honorable public sphere with over two centuries of educational services from the year 1883.
3. General Patton Memorial Museum
The museum was established to honor the memory of US veterans, resisting bravely against Nazi occupation. In particular, the endeavor of US General George S. Patton Jr. is featured among these collections; through whose effort Ettelbruck was liberated from occupying germans.
The arrangement of displays is organized in such a manner to walk the visitors through the major events of World War II, including the devastating battle of the bulge. Personal items, authentic warfare documents and photos of brave soldiers, oppressive troop prisoners, and an extensive collection of wax figurines; that recreate the military personage around the year 1940 and bring those historic events to a comprehendible exhibition.
4. Mural Art
Place de la Liberation marks the cultural epicenter of the town, encompassing art galleries, museums, and an entire street adorned in modern mural masterpieces. The project is yet under process; French and Luxembourgish artists’ performances indicate a mural art that is both decorative and conceptually involved with current social issues. For instance, Alex McKell’s work develops around the health of marine life, envisioned as a “clean ocean”.
Multicultural, artistic, and free forms of expression are the main themes of Ettelbrooklyn Street Fest that take place here at Liberation square. From skateboarding, graffiti, and mural art, to street portrayed and musical performance, this festival is unique in its kind across Europe; topped with delicious street food stalls. As an intellectual get together event, several professionals offer workshops at Nordstad, mostly involving graffiti techniques, painting, and DJing.
5. Beaches of Lac de Haute-Sûre
At the confluence of three major Rivers of Sauer, Wark, and Alzette, water bodies are plentiful at the proximity of Ettelbruck; branched into mini waterfalls, streams, lakes, and lagoons. Besides the various outstanding biotopes and hiking trails, Haute-Sûre lake accumulated following the construction of a hydroelectric dam. It encompasses the most touristic destination of Ettelbruck that combines a lush nature and modern leisure.
Recognized as the largest water reservoir of the country, the turquoise waters are lined with sabulous beaches in six distinct spots, encircled by the jungles of Sûre valley. During the summer months, these shores are swarming with tourists for sunbathing and swimming or recreational sports activities; from kayaking, rafting, and canoeing, to sand-covered children’s playgrounds, a campsite and an authentic restaurant are among the facilities at the lakeside. Prior reservations can be obtained from the official website and recommended throughout the season.
6. Centre des Arts Pluriels
Lounging on the banks of river Alzette, a futuristic architecture harbors the cultural pole of the municipality, known as Centre des Arts Pluriels Ettelbruck. Abbreviated as CAPE, the complex indulges in various art disciplines including music, visual arts, and theatre. Each year hundreds of world-famous artists display their art at the center. Ballet performances, theatrical art, movies, and clip arts, educational workshops, and canvas exhibitions are among the major activities; yet the artistic culture of Pluriels develops mostly around music.
Centered around classic orchestra performances, it hosts other genres including jazz concerts to contemporary music events. As an intellectual hub, the idea behind this organization is founded on the principles of spreading the artistic philosophies and giving rise to the public presence of emerging artists. Occasionally, temporary exhibitions and social gatherings for non-art related matters transpire here at Centre des Arts.
7. Escapardenne Trail
Escapardenne Lee Trail marks a section of the larger loop of ESCAPARDENNE Eisleck Trail that crosses over the confines of Belgium. Noted as a high quality among the seasoned trekkers, the trails earn their name after a series of rugged cliffs, identified as Lee.
It stretches to 56 kilometers, consisting of wars’ vestiges outgrown by moss and leafy vegetation, war memorials, wooden bridges, and picturesque sceneries.
8. General Patton Monument
Enlisted among the national monuments, the bronze figurine of General Patton hallmarks the way to the bridge of river Sûre. It is accompanied by two other elements; a sword that is sheathed in the ground as a symbol of the truce contributed to the renowned General, and an American M4 Sherman tank.
9. Ettelbruck Campsite
At the west, Ettelbruck’s campsite perches on the verdant hills of the Ardennes. Offering a peaceful camping environment, dense nature enfolds the complex, with well-curated paths, cycle and caravan facilities, and children’s playgrounds. It is well connected to the renowned circuits of Ardennes, such as the national footpath of Sentier du Préizerdall and the Lultzhausen biking trail.
D’Stiffchen brasserie sits adjacent to the cozy wooden cottages, best known for its delicate French pastry, Luxembourgish snacks, and authentic Crémant. Trails from Sûre valley connect to Adrien Ries national trail; consisting of scenic landscape with difficult to moderate hikes and dotted with small villages and fortified settlements with soaring medieval castles. The stretch is 48 kilometers long and titled as one of the finest hikes of Luxembourgish Ardennes.
Situated at the northwest of the canton, the small municipality of Warken sprawls on the banks of Wark River. while situated within the boundaries of Haardt Nature Reserve, the settlement is enclosed by condensed woodlands and a biodiverse flora and fauna. The first inhabitation in the area goes prior to the early medieval era; however, the most antiquated edifice in the township is the parish church, dating back to the mid-17th century; consequently, the original gothic structure was renovated in the 20th century and integrated few elements such as the church’s organ and a high altar.
The chapel is dedicated to its patron saint of Warken, Saint Anna, with honored figurines of Our Lady of Consolation and evangelist saints.
Hamlet of Grentzingen reclines on the southern terrains of Ettelbruck canton, on the left bank of river Alzette. The town’s most charming feature lies at a stone throw away from the river, at Grenzen Chapel. An antiquated gate, with outstanding wood carvings, pave the way to the interior; above which is marked with a stone plate that depicts the chapel’s origin in 1773, below the figure of crucified Christ.
Baroness de Broqueville was concerned about the severity of the chapel’s condition; she traded some of her lands for the medieval oratory and restored the chapel to its prior state of glory. The first archbishop of the Catholic Church of Ireland, and archbishop of Luxembourg, conducted the reinstating of the chapel and its mass services in 1987.
Recognized as a multidimensional township, Schieren holds a rich history within its municipal boundaries; including heritage sites, trekking routes, and scenic landscapes. Sitting on the fertile hillsides of Alzette valley, the charming hamlet of Biertreng was once the residence of Baroness de Broqueville; a charitable woman associated with many great deeds, even after her death.
Her testament arranged the donation of the residential castle to the Red Cross Society, as her last public service. The original foundation of the castle dates back to the 13th century, while the current facade emanated since the 18th century’s extensive renovations. The courtyard is surrounded by European beech trees that stretch for kilometers, covering the valley with red-hued leaves.
Schieren’s water mills, Schierenermillen, were established in the late medieval era and functioning as a cereal refinery until the breakout of World War II in the region. The most ancient element yet found in Schieren is the remnants of a Roman villa. It was extensively unearthed in the 19th century, showcasing chambers with illustrations such as Romanos frescoes of the god of war, Mars, and a few valuable artifacts; represented at the National Museum of History and Art in Luxembourg City.
13. Jewish Heritage Center
For the rancor the german Nazis carried in their heart for the Jewish community, Jews suffered terrible faith throughout the entire Greater German Reich. They were persecuted, forced out of their homes, and insulted for their faith; synagogues across the grand duchy were destroyed except for one, in the city of Ettelbruck.
The first settlement of this community dates back to 1820 as a wealthy population; an ancient cemetery next to the synagogue safeguards the resting place of 190 ethnic members. This center aims to illustrate the history of the Jewish legacy, best presented in assemblages of valuable documents and relics.
14. Nei Ettelbréck festival
As a metropolis with festive ambient, cobbled stone streets of central Ettelbruck turn into a festival ground during Nei Ettelbréck; housing a ground craft exhibition during the 3rd to 5th of June. The township has a long history in crafting lace, leather-wares, wood, and metal utensils; regarded as the largest shopping center in the northern terrains of the grand duchy.
While shopping for souvenirs or a memorable token of authentically crafted goods, visitors can enjoy the diverting aspects of the festival; encompassing dance, music, and awe-inspiring demonstration of athlete club nominees, together with exceptional gastronomy.
A few kilometers to the east, Route de Bastogne connects Ettelbruck to the commune of Feulen, divided into two minor towns; Niederfeulen and Oberfeulen both highlighted for their religious structures. The parish Church in Niederfeulen is dedicated to the patron saint Rochus, hinting to strong dutch influence in architecture and style.
Classified as one of the Luxembourgish national monuments, Uewerfeelen catholic church conceals the historic evolution of the township and the country. The initial foundation of the edifice was built on Lucilinburhuc, remains of a Roman castle, in the 10th century. Constructed as the abbey of St. Maximin of Trier, today the church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
A richly decorated altar, parts of a Roman watchtower, pastel-colored frescoes, and a large cemetery from the medieval age, cover the cultural highlights of Uewerfeelen Église. Other notable attractions of Feulen include; Hennesbaucultural center, music Fanfare Feelen, and the church park concealing the ancient cemetery.