Esch-sur-Alzette and its surroundings, multiple attractions

Esch-sur-Alzette is the second largest city in the country after the capital Luxembourg. It is located in the south of Luxembourg, right next to the French border. Today, it shows a real dynamism and many attractions.

Population in Esch-sur-Alzette

Number of inhabitants as of January 1, 2022

Number of different nationalities

  • of foreign population 52% 52%

ESCH 2022, European Capital of Culture

Together with 10 municipalities in the south of Luxembourg and 8 neighboring French municipalities, Esch-sur-Alzette becomes European Capital of Culture 2022.

Awarded each year to two cities in the European Union, the “European Capital of Culture” label highlights the diversity of culture within the European continent. The urban community around Esch-sur-Alzette was selected together with the city of Kaunas in Lithuania.

In order to shine as the European Capital of Culture, Esch 2022 presents a “Remix culture” program. The objective is to create synergies around a common project of sustainable development and strong public engagement.

All residents of the territories around Esch, in France or in Luxembourg, are invited to participate by posting their most beautiful photos using the hashtags of their municipality: #bettembourg2022, #ccphva2022, #differdange2022, #dudelange2022, #eschsuralzette2022, #mondercange2022, #kaerjeng2022, #kayltetange2022, #petange2022, #rumelange2022, #sanem2022, #schifflange2022, … The opportunity to discover the region with a new eye.

Multiple events are organized around different themes: music, street arts, dance, design, architecture, nature… These events are designed for all audiences and all ages.

More information on the Esch2022 website.

Living in Esch-sur-Alzette, a city with many attractions

The city of Esch-sur-Alzette has all the school and extra-curricular structures to facilitate the life of its inhabitants. Even though it suffered from a bad reputation for a long time, the city of Esch-sur-Alzette is now getting a new attention.

The Rue de l’Alzette and the large pedestrian zone are a delight for shoppers with its many stores, restaurants, bars and a market .

Esch also offers an important cultural life with the city’s theater, the large Kinepolis cinema in Belval, the library, the music conservatory, not to mention the Rockhal, a magnificent concert hall in Luxembourg. The city has also been designated “European Capital of Culture” for 2022.

In addition, the school offer is complete with several public basic schools and “Maisons Relais”. For the older children, there are also Secondary Luxemourgish schoolsand international schools.

For the more sporty, the city offers many sports facilities such as the skate park, the Jeunesse d’Esch soccer club, several times champion of Luxembourg, the omnisports center with multiple infrastructures, the swimming pool of the Bains Municipaux, a shooting range…

The city also has a real green lung which allows its inhabitants to recharge their batteries with the Gaalgebierg hill , its natural ice rink in winterand its vast forest.

As far as transportation is concerned, the city is very well served by the highway or by public transportation, bus or train. An ultra-fast tramway project will link Luxembourg and Esch-sur-Alzette in 26 minutes in 2028. It will be lined by a bicycle highway, to develop soft mobility.

In addition to the lower prices compared to the capital and its surroundings, the inhabitants of Esch-sur-Alzette appreciate the amenities of Esch, the many activities and the special atmosphere of this southern city.

Real estate prices in Esch-sur-Alzette

As far as real estate prices are concerned, Esch-sur-Alzette remains a very affordable commune. See below (source Immotop).

To compare with the real estate prices in Luxembourg

Esch-sur-Alzette, a strong history magnificently highlighted

The city of Esch-sur-Alzette is located in the south of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in the center of the Terres Rouges region of which it is the capital. The iron metropolis is the symbol of Luxembourg’s steelmaking past. From this industrial history, it has kept the blast furnaces and a strongly foreign population (more than 30% of its inhabitants).

Following the steel crisis that also affected the Lorraine region in France, the last blast furnace in Esch-Belval closed its doors in 1997. The Schifflange aminoir was closed in 2012.

Esch-sur-Alzette has masterfully reconverted some of these historic sites. The district of Esch-Belval today magnificently integrates the old blast furnaces in the heart of a very modern, lively and busy district. There are many companies, a large shopping center Belval-Plaza, the Rockhal, a concert and music venue, and the main campus of theUniversity of Luxembourg.

Discover Luxembourg’s steelmaking past

Luxembourg has a rich industrial past. Its iron mines, now closed, were exploited for nearly 100 years in the south of the country. Iron ore has contributed to the prosperity of the Grand Duchy, thanks to the mining industry in the Terres Rouges region.

Do you want to know more about the industrial history of Luxembourg? Plan a fun and cultural outing for the whole family in the Redlands.

Minett Park, a steam train tour dedicated to iron ore mining

Fond-de-Gras, near Differdange, is a site marked by numerous iron mines exploited from 1870. The iron ore extracted from the mines was then transported to the ironworks in Luxembourg or abroad. It was here that the last iron mine in Luxembourg closed its doors in 1964.

Today, You can relive some of this history by visiting Minett Park. While having fun, we understand better the daily life of the miners who went down every day in the underground galleries. By harvesting iron ore (Minett in Luxembourgish), They could thus feed their families, sometimes at the risk of their lives.

Today 2 mining trains still run in Minett Park Fond-de-Gras, thanks to the action of volunteers. A real museum, theMinett Park presents the history of iron mining in Luxembourg from the end of the 19th century.

The A steam train from the 1900’s will take you on the old railroad line of the Minières which transported the iron ore. between Pétange and Fond-de-Gras (round trip).
The collection of the association “Train 1900” includes a dozen steam and diesel trains, carefully restored.

To continue the journey back in time and better discover the reality of the mines, you will take the “Minièresbunn” mining train on the narrow railway line between the old mine of Fond-de-Gras and the workers’ village of Lasauvage . The latter is also an exhibition and tourist attraction. Don’t forget to bring a sweater!

You can also visit the buildings that bear witness to the former industrial activity: the miners’ lodgings, the picturesque Victor Binck grocery store, which was open until 1980, the power plant in the Paul Wurth hall, the rolling mill train, the historic café-restaurant “Bei der Giedel”, the “hanging room”, ….

These historic sites and trains are accessible to tourists every Sunday and holiday from May 1 to September 30.

Many events are organized in the framework of Minett Park Fond-de-Gras, do not hesitate to consult their website to discover this place before the end of the season!

You can also simply visit the site of the nature park and walk along the various marked paths on the former open-cast mining site “Giele Botter”.

Joanna Gizewska, Ambassador of Poland for the JUST ARRIVED Ambassadors’ Club , said: “Every year, the official opening of the season reminds me of a similar tradition in my country, Poland. On Labor Day, celebrated on May 1, the industrial regions of Poland proudly present their steam trains, offering the first trips after a long winter. It’s a very nostalgic memory!”

National Museum of Iron Mines in Rumelange

At the National Museum of Luxembourg Iron Mines in Rumelange you will discover the mining past of Luxembourg, from the end of the 19th century until the 1990s.

Discover the very difficult working conditions of the miners and the technical evolution of the extraction of the ore, in underground mines and then in open air. Once extracted, the ore was then transported to the blast furnaces to be transformed into cast iron or steel.

Don’t miss a visit to a historic iron mine, the Langengrund Gallery. You can get there by small train. You will walk through the underground galleries and the iron extraction sites. The visit lasts 1h30. You are required to wear a helmet on your head. Temperatures are between 10 and 12° C, so don’t forget your wool! Former miners accompany the guided tour. The exhibition rooms present different objects from the past, including tools, machines,… There are also fossils.

Ask about the opening hours, the museum has different schedules depending on the season.

It is also possible to celebrate birthdays in the museum. Interactive tours are organized for children from 6 to 14 years old. Children learn the hard work of miners by pushing wagons, digging or breaking blocks of ore!

Belval and its blast furnaces

If you want to go further in the discovery of Luxembourg’s industrial past, don’t forget to visit Belval, near Esch-sur-Alzette.

The Belval site wonderfully highlights the old industrial site and its blast furnaces. In operation until 1997 for blast furnace B, blast furnaces A and B remain the testimony of the exploitation of iron ore by the steel group Arbed from 1911. The transformation of the ore into cast iron and then into steel was ensured through successive mergers, with the Arcelia and Usinor groups in 2002, then in 2006 with Mittal Steel to give Arcelor Mittal

Today, a part of the site has been reconverted to keep this testimony of the past thanks to a magnificent renovation and a successful integration in a new urban landscape. The Belval site is now home to new companies, including the University and the Cité des Sciences, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation. The former industrial site has become a modern and active city.

The Cité des Sciences and the blast furnaces can be visited, in particular the platform of the gueulard which overhangs all the zone of Belval and its new districts.

The festival of the Blast Furnaces takes place every year in July. It gives rise to multiple animations.

Arcelor Mittal is still active in another part of the Belval area and is one of the largest employers in Luxembourg.

Do you want to discover other typical places in Luxembourg? Click here for more information.
What activities and outings to do with the family in Luxembourg?

Visit the iron mines in Luxembourg, Fond-de-gras, Minett Park