Friday, July 8, 2011

I Love Luxembourg: Built into the Rock

If you've ever been to Luxembourg, you probably remember the impressive old town, with its gorgeous cliffs and ancient ruined fortress, and of course, the casemates, an incredible labyrinth of tunnels carved into solid rock with windows offering spectacular views over the valley below.

While the casemates are impressive, they're public.  Everyone knows about them.  It's one of the places you have to take friends and family when they come to visit.  So, for me, they've lost a little of their impressiveness (and I have to admit I lost some of my enthusiasm for them when I learned they were closed for the winter because they provide a safe place to hibernate for thousands of bats.  Ick.  Bats.  You know how I feel about bats.)

So while I acknowledge that the casemates are pretty amazing, they pale in comparison to a few other gems I stumbled upon in my exploration of the city.

Like these houses in the Petrusse Valley:
What I wouldn't give to take a peek inside these houses.  Did the architect leave the rock exposed or conceal it behind a wall?  Doesn't it feel like a cave with an entire windowless wall?  Who lives there??

What do you do when you want to build something but are faced with a solid wall of rock?  You incorporate it into your structure, of course!  One less wall to build...

And then there's this chapel. St. Quirin, also in the Petrusse Valley.  It too is built right into the rock.  I've never gone inside this one but I definitely will someday.

Photo from :
There's another little building carved into solid rock that I just noticed the other day, despite the fact that I've driven past it twice a day for a 18 months taking the kids to and from school.  It looks a bit like the chapel above but much more dilapidated, abandoned, even.  I need to stop, take a photo and do a little exploring someday soon.

And if you don't feel like building into the rock, how about perching precariously atop it?

This house looks to me like it should be perched atop a giant sea cliff with enormous waves crashing below it.  But, no, it just overlooks an ordinary street.  Ordinary for Luxembourg, that is...


  1. A house that was built on top of a rock shouldn't be missed by locals and tourists in Luxemborg. I think of it as a piece of art because of how they were able to create with the intention of showing the people that nothing is impossible.

  2. Visiting the beautiful place of Luxembourg is a wonderful learning experience. It will allow every traveler to have an idea about different architectural designs that reflect the culture of the people. These houses were built on rock had surely surpassing the test of time. This only reflects the aesthetic taste and practicality of the people who use artistic and sturdy materials in building their homes.

    Danielle Bailey