Monday, March 27, 2017

Paris to Swiss Alps: Luxembourg (3/27/2017)

Monday, March 27, 2017
A Viking land transfer from Paris to Trier, via Luxembourg today. Luggage with color-coded tags outside the door at 6:15, breakfast buffet at the Hotel Pullman, departure at 8:15.
From the motor coach as the sun rises,
a view of the Eiffel Tower with
multiple airplane contrails
A pit stop outside Reims, where Joan of Arc caused young Charles of Orléans to be crowned King of France in the Cathedral, to unite France against the English.
Pit stop with multiple cafés and shops
Even a stand-alone Starbucks vending area:
slip in your credit card, choose your beverage, voilà!
Cherry blossoms?
Returning to our motor coaches (there were 4 in total)
The flat farmland of eastern France
The hills began near the border of Luxembourg, and we continued to Luxembourg City. First we were sent off to get lunch on our own (or shop).
Sandwich de Paris
Croque Monsieur with salad and a Bitburger beer
Now for the included guided tour of the City of Luxembourg.
Cercle-Cité Luxembourg/Luxembourg Municipal Building
(1904-1909) designed by father and son Pierre and Paul Funck,
it is now a culture and conference center
 On the front of Cercle-Cité, a frieze depicts the scene where
Countess Ermesinde hands over the charter of freedom
to the citizens of Luxembourg in the year 1244
Luxembourg City's main square, Place Guillaume II, was closed
for renovations, although we can still see the equestrian statue of
Guillaume/William II of the House of Orange-Nassau who
was King of The Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg
#1 rue Chimay with a golden unicorn
and a corner oriel window
Palais Grand-Ducal/Grand Ducal Palace (1572-1574 in Flemish
Renaissance style) was built as a city hall and government building
until 1817, then was a Governor's residence; in 1883 it was used for
the Grand Duke's visit, who made it his residence in 1890
Palace gate with the Coat of Arms (KSS)
Grand Ducal Palace with guard boxes (KSS)
Palace guard; the Changing of the Guard ceremony occurs once
a month, so this guy will be marching for a long time! (KSS)
This section of the palace houses the
Luxembourgish Parliament the Chamber of Deputies
Across from the palace are five black columns with
a mask-like face staring out from each; as
you walk pass, the eyes appear to follow you
Close-up of the face
We were taken down the narrow
alley of Rue de la Loge
Then sent into the Passage du Palais to see the
historical center of medieval Luxembourg
Old Luxembourg well
An oriel window with the Luxembourgish expression meaning:
"we want to remain what we are" (on the other side it states:
"the red lion watches/guards" as in the red lion on the coat of arms)
Gate of Grund (1632)
#4 Rue de la Loge; perhaps this is the loge?
Another passageway off Rue Wiltheim
The passageway brings us out on Boulevard
Victor Thorn, and bearing right we come to a
vantage point overlooking the Alzette Valley
A skewed panorama from the red abutments of the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge
(1962-1965 designed by Egon Jux) on the left to the arches of the railroad viaduct
Behind us was the Église Saint-Michel/Church
of St Michael (established 987, present church built
in 1688 in Romanesque and Baroque styles),
oldest extant religious site in Luxembourg City
Bock Casemates to our left (KSS)
The Bock was the rocky promontory on which sat the 963 (the year!) castle of Sigefroid, the founder of the House of Luxembourg. The casemates were underground fortifications behind the steep walls, which were able to shelter thousands of defenders, equipment, horses, workshops, kitchens, and slaughterhouses.
Steep walls to our right (KSS)
The first line of defense at the Alzette River level
Below was the former Neumünster Abbey, with the
Église St Jean du Grund/Church of St John at the base (1606)
On the right side of the Alzette River, there is
now an exclusive neighborhood; they have an
elevator to reach the city above!
Pont du Château/Castle Bridge (1735, built by Austrians)
with 4 ways to cross: 1)the road over the top,
2) passage by way of the four upper arches,
3) a spiral staircase up through the main arch,
and 4) a tunnel under the road at the bottom
Easter-themed shop window
A grotesque on a regular house (KSS) 
Monument (1990) in honor of Grand Duchess Charlotte,
designed by the Parisian Jean Cardot,
in Place Clairefontaine
Cathédrale de Notre-Dame north portal,
part Renaissance and part Baroque
A very quick swing through the cathedral!  It was built 1613-1621 by the Jesuits, and made a cathedral in 1870.
Gothic Revival cathedral nave with
columns covered in arabesques
Cathedral apse with stained glass windows and
a choir screen of alabaster; above the altar is the
image (1794)of the Maria Consolatrix Afflictorum/
Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted, the patron saint
of both the city and the nation 
Fountain outside the cathedral (KSS)
Cathédrale de Notre-Dame/Cathedral of Our Lady
Gëlle Fra/Golden Lady (1923), a figure of a woman/Nike
holding a wreath for victory as WWI memorial;
it was removed by the Nazis in 1940, found in
1980, and replaced in 1984 in Place de la Constitution
overlooking the Pétrusse River
We returned to the motor coaches to resume our journey.
Neither a church or a castle, but the former Banque
et Caisse d'Épargne de l'etat Luxembourg
, the
state-owned bank and savings bank of Luxembourg
Next: The Luxembourg American Cemetery.

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