Bock Casemates, Luxembourg

Bock Casemates, Luxembourg (must see)

Luxembourg takes great pride in its title as the "Gibraltar of the North." This fearsome reputation comes from the heavily fortified city's past; it was taken by surprise once in 1443, and the only other time it was defeated was when it was surrendered to the French in 1795. Even then, the city walls were mostly unbreached.

Luxembourg's northeast corner is home to Bock rock, a cliff that towers above the River Alzette. The Romans started with a small fortification here, but it was Count Siegfried in 963 who built the first castle. The city gradually grew around it, and city walls were built that connected to the Bock.

During different periods of occupation, various expansions and upgrades were made by each subsequent occupier. The casements were constructed by the Spanish and the Austrians.

While Luxembourg had begun in the Middle Ages as a relatively open city, by the 16th and 17th centuries, the city had become more or less closed off from the surrounding areas. There were so many walls, guarded gates, and fortresses that the merchant city began to suffer.

Sadly, most of the city's walls and fortresses were torn down in 1867 as a condition of the Treaty of London. Many various pieces and sections of the walls, forts, and towers remain.

Why You Should Visit:
The remains of the fortress and the city's old quarter have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. The casements and other remains of the fortified city are one of Luxembourg's foremost attractions.

The Bock is the area that started Luxembourg; this is the defensive position that appealed greatly to Count Siegfried back in 963.

The casements were greatly enlarged during the period of the Austrians. Around 1744, the passages you see today were created. The central passage is 100 meters long and seven meters wide, with as many as 25 cannon slots branching off from either side. The area was large enough to be used as the barracks for several hundred soldiers.

Be sure also to check out Pont du Château, the two-story bridge that connects the Bock to the old town. It was built in 1735 by the Austrians and featured four different ways to cross between the cliffs.

The antechamber of the Bock casements is the archeological crypt.

The views from the Bock of the old city can't be beaten. Don't forget your camera!

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Luxembourg. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bock Casemates on Map

Sight Name: Bock Casemates
Sight Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg (See walking tours in Luxembourg)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Luxembourg, Luxembourg

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Create Your Own Walk in Luxembourg

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Chocolates and Pastries Walking Tour

Chocolates and Pastries Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Souvenir Shopping Tour

Souvenir Shopping Tour

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The Market on Place Guillaume II is...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Luxembourg Introduction Walking Tour

Luxembourg Introduction Walking Tour

The capital city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is known as Luxembourg City. The Romans had built small forts here that guarded two roads that passed through. But it was Count Seigfried in 963 who began the town by building a castle on the Bock promontory. A small church followed on the site of present day St. Michael’s Church. Soon a community sprang up along the Roman road.

Bock Rock...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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