Museums Walking Tour (Self Guided), Luxembourg

Despite the city's comparatively small size, Luxembourg has several notable museums, including the recently renovated National Museum of History and Art (MNHA), the Luxembourg City History Museum and several others. The city of Luxembourg itself is on the UNESCO World Heritage List on account of the historical importance of its fortifications and buildings of high cultural value. Take this self guided tour to visit a few most significant museums in Luxembourg City.
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Museums Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Museums Walking Tour
Guide Location: Luxembourg » Luxembourg (See other walking tours in Luxembourg)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 4
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Author: Xena
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • National Museum of History and Art
  • Luxembourg City History Museum
  • Casino Luxembourg
  • Villa Vauban
1
National Museum of History and Art

1) National Museum of History and Art

With the long and storied history that Luxembourg has, it's no wonder that its National Museum of History and Art would be a worthwhile visit. The museum covers all periods in the city's development, from Roman times to the present day. Except for some exhibitions, the museum is free.

The archeology section and exhibits are exemplary. The collection spans all the human activity in the Luxembourg territories from prehistory to the Middle Ages. Many artifacts come from the Bronze and Iron Ages of Roman times. One notable item is a Roman mural that was uncovered nearby, circa 240 AD.

In addition to fine arts, the museum also has an extensive collection of arts and crafts. These include Luxembourg-produced items like clocks, furniture, silverware, and ceramics. The collection is uniquely displayed in settings as they exist, with recreated rooms like luxurious Renaissance palaces to Art Deco rooms.

The museum is quite large, housed in a five-story building with an additional five floors below ground level. If you are pressed on time, it's worthwhile to sit and plan your visit. If you take your time, you can easily spend all day here.

Signs and text in the museum are sometimes in English and sometimes not. The best solution for English speakers is to pick up an audio guide.

Why You Should Visit:
The way the museum is built and arranged offers a true cultural and historical experience, and the old walls of the city are very nicely integrated in the space.
You'll see a very interestingly designed building that takes you down 4 levels to prehistory and up another four to modern art - definitely worth exploring even if you're not into museums.
You can also go to the oldest church in Luxembourg (St. Michael's nearby) and the old Fishmarket in front of the museum.

Tip:
You do need to leave big bags in a locker that costs €1 but you can take the camera around with you.
Make sure you pick up a highlights leaflet in the introductory gallery. There are gallery guides (available in English) on each floor, too.

Opening Hours:
Tue, Wed, Fri-Sun: 10am-6pm; Thu: 10am-9pm (5-8pm – free entry)
2
Luxembourg City History Museum

2) Luxembourg City History Museum

The Luxembourg City History Museum illustrates the thousand-year history of the City of Luxembourg with both permanent and temporary exhibits.

Founded on 22 June 1996, it was designed by Luxembourg architect Conny Lentz. Like the city itself, the museum successfully combines ancient architecture with modern extensions. It is housed in four restored houses from the 17th-19th centuries which still bear archeological traces from the Middle Ages. The exemplary combination of ancient architecture with modern-day technology, delightful to the museum visitors, are the floating glass façade and the panoramic lift from which one can enjoy extensive views of all the museum floors.

The huge glass cage of the lift can carry up to 65 people, allowing them to view simultaneously, in one go, the rock foundations on the lower levels as well as the city's Grund district and Rham plateau from the upper levels, thus tracing the stages of Luxembourg's history in the course of centuries. Also quite interesting are the ancient, vaulted cellars which were discovered during excavation work in the early 1990s. The floors below the street level entrance house a permanent collection, which illustrates the town's architectural and urban development, while the upper floors are reserved for temporary exhibitions.

The multimedia system, extending throughout the whole building, documents the history of the town, including its cultural, political and social development. It provides access to over ten thousand documents and almost sixty audio-visual sequences.

Why You Should Visit:
To learn about the history of Luxembourg, and how many times they were conquered by various neighbouring countries, plus WWI and WWII.
There are incredible Roman exhibits including a massive, almost perfect mosaic floor and then takes you through to modern art and design.
Exhibits are in French, German and English and there's definitely something for everyone to enjoy.

Tip:
Don't miss the uniquely massive, glass-walled elevator – the size of a small house! Try climbing to the top floor then riding all the way down to the basement with it – a bizarre out-of-body experience. This experience is worth the entry price alone.
On the lower level, you can exit directly to the famous Rue de la Corniche where you can see the famous Bock and incredible geography of the ancient city. Note, however, that using this exit does not make sense if you also use the lockers at the entrance.

Opening Hours:
Tue, Wed, Fri-Sun: 10am-6pm; Thu: 10am-8pm
Free entry every Thursday between 6-8pm
Youth < 21 years & disabled people: always free
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Casino Luxembourg

3) Casino Luxembourg

The Casino Luxembourg is currently a forum for contemporary art which was adapted and renovated in 1995 to fit its new role of housing temporary exhibitions of Luxembourg art. Originally opened in 1882 as the Casino Bourgeois, it was a center for cultural and social events in addition to its gaming functions.

The Casino Bourgeois, designed by Luxembourg architects Pierre and Paul Funck, was completed in 1882. In addition to its gaming activities, the casino also had a reading room, a restaurant and a number of large halls which were used for lectures, balls, plays, shows, concerts and art exhibitions. Franz Liszt gave his last piano recital at the casino on 19 July 1886. In 1959, after being purchased by the State, the building was rented out to the Cultural Circle of the European Communities and became known as the Foyer Européen. In 1959, a large glass and steel pavilion designed by René Maillet was added to the south side of the building.

With a view to using the building for art exhibitions during Luxembourg City's year as European Cultural Capital in 1995, the Swiss artist Urs Raussmüller of Schaffhausen's Hallen für Neue Kunst was charged with adapting the casino into an exhibition space for a limited period by creating substantially more hanging space than could be provided by the walls in the various rooms. This was achieved by installing open-top white-walled cubes throughout the building except in the entrance hall which became a reception and information center. In March 1996, shortly after the end of the European year of culture, the building took on its present function of serving as a forum for contemporary art.

The casino also houses a public library and reading room. Known as the Infolab, it contains some 7,000 publications on the history of art since the 1960s, 50 portfolios on Luxembourg artists and 40 international magazines on contemporary art and culture. Information is also provided on current exhibitions with videos, periodicals and books on the exhibiting artists.

Why You Should Visit:
Great view from the terrace, perfect for lunch, working or WiFi as the tables are spacious and the chairs comfortable (also noise levels low). The building itself is really beautiful and centrally located.

Tip:
Exhibitions are well worth the visit; however, the theme changes ever so often so check the website what's currently on show.

Opening Hours:
Mon, Wed, Fri-Sun: 11am-7pm; Thu: 11am-11pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Villa Vauban

4) Villa Vauban

Villa Vauban is an art museum in Luxembourg City. Recently renovated and extended, it exhibits 18th- and 19th-century paintings acquired from private collections.

Built in 1873 as a private residence, the villa owes its name to a fort built on the same site by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633–1707) as part of the city's defences. An impressive section of the old fortress wall can be seen in the museum's basement. The renovation work, completed in 2010, was planned by Philippe Schmit of the Luxembourg architectural firm Diane Heirent & Philippe Schmit. As a result of its innovative perforated copper cladding, the extension received the TECO Architecture Award in 2010. The museum is located in a park laid out by the French architect Édouard André (1840–1911), one of the leading landscape architects of his day.

The works exhibited at the Villa Vauban were originally part of three separate collections, all of which were bequeathed to the city. The first is that of Jean-Pierre Pescatore (1793–1855), who established himself as a wealthy banker in Paris. It is made up principally of 17th-century Dutch paintings, contemporary French works, as well as sculptures and drawings. The second, consisting mainly of 19th-century art, stems from Leo Lippmann (1808–1883), a banker and Consul General of Luxembourg in Amsterdam. The third collection, which once belonged to the pharmacist Jodoc Frédéric Hochhertz, comprises 18th-century history paintings, still lifes and portraits. It was later inherited by Eugénie Dutreux-Pescatore (1810–1902). The Dutch Golden Age paintings include works by Cornelis Bega, Gerrit Dou and Jan Steen while Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier and Jules Dupré are among the artists who painted the 19th-century French works.

Why You Should Visit:
Not overwhelming like so many museums can be – just an impressive collection of art with a good audio guide in English, and if nothing else you can sit and relax in the beautiful garden (no entry fee).

Tip:
Check the website before committing to a visit as their temporary exhibitions may not be for everyone.

Opening Hours:
Wed, Thu, Sat-Mon: 10am-6pm; Fri: 10am-9pm
Free admission on Fridays after 6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Luxembourg, Luxembourg

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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.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles

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