After leisurely strolling around Luxembourg City for the first part of the day, it was time to discover a bit more of the history and culture of this gorgeous little country.
Luxembourg terrain certainly isn't flat, and there are alot of valleys and gorges, but one noticeable feature is the stunning fortification built into the rock face. This is the casemates and the path of the ramparts.
The entire fortress dates back to around 1677, and over the centuries it was added to, and re-enforced again and again. It was in 1746 that the casemates of the "Petrusse Battery" (54 gun emplacements) were added giving it its modern name. Eventually the fortress was so secure Luxembourg became the "Gibraltar of the North"- Gibraltar being known for its fortifications of Gibraltar and once dubbed "probably the most fought over and most densely fortified place in Europe".
From the top, it provides the most stunning views, reinforcing my statement that Luxembourg really is tranquil.
We set off inside the fortified rock, where there are cavernous crypts.
The eagle eyed of you may have spotted the people looking out from the side of the rock in my first photo. Well this is their view. Quite the photo opp.
The fortress caves create the most beautiful shapes and have hidden historical gems just round the corner.
I can't get over how tranquil Luxembourg is. Valley's of rolling hills and streams, and the most lush greenery imaginable. Hours can roll by just wanding the scenery. It's perfect for those, throw the guide book away and just go for a walk, kind of trips.
Afterwards we wandered back down the hill, but not without spying a familiar site.
Oh how the Europeans love their love locks.
We ended up at Place Clairefontaine. Here is where the statue of the Grand Duchess Charlotte is. and next to the building of the Foreign Ministry. Even the Minister of State has its headquarters there.
Grand Duchess Charlotte was quite the force in World War II. After the Nazis invaded Luxembourg, she traveled to London where she made supportive broadcasts back to Luxembourg using the BBC. she then to the United States to meet with President Roosevelt to encourage America to join the war.
Oh and this is the Prime Ministers house. Yes that's right, again like the palace you can go up and just touch it. Are you listening Downing Street?
Finally we headed over to Notre Damn. No no, we suddenly hadn't jumped countries, it's also the name of Luxembourg Cities cathedral.
You don't have to be religious to appreciate church architecture. No one can deny this beauty.
Soon though we started to flag in the hot weather, and our bellies crumbled. Next stop, Luxembourgish dinner.