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Regional route Minett Tour | Luxembourg

Young, dynamic, full of energy, modern and future-oriented, but at the same time down-to-earth and robust, with a strong connection to the past and old values - The former industrial heart of Luxembourg is a region of contrasts. Even today, the RedRockRegion still bears witness to the rich past of the ... more

Minett Tour | The RedRockRegion - From Earth to Steel

Young, dynamic, full of energy, modern and future-oriented, but at the same time down-to-earth and robust, with a strong connection to the past and old values - The former industrial heart of Luxembourg is a region of contrasts. Even today, the RedRockRegion still bears witness to the rich past of the country.

As a former industrial hub, the region was not only instrumental in the nation's emerging wealth at the beginning of the 20th century, it was also a crucial factor in rebuilding the country after the end of World War II. Until the 1970s, the steel industry was the driving force of the economy, but its beginnings can be situated in the mid-19th century. At the turn of the century, the industry prospered. In 1974, it employed just under 16 percent of the workforce in the country. The traces of this history are still visible today in its towns and villages.

Close cooperation with steel mills and suppliers from the Greater Region also made the industry an important part in international cooperation and furthered integration into the European community. At the same time, it helped the companies rise to be internationally respected suppliers, placed the Grand Duchy on the world map and made the country ready for its future.

The steel industry also contributed to a change in the image of society and the interaction of cultures in Luxembourg. Due to the high demand for competent workforce, a large number of Italian guest workers (their country was economically stricken at that time) came to the Grand Duchy in order to build a new future for their families by working in the steelworks. Guests became fellow citizens, who brought new customs to Luxembourg. This melting pot of cultures remains highly visible in today’s society.

The RedRockRegion lives on these contrasts: The steel industry, which was booming during the economic upswing in the middle of the 20th century, shaped the landscape, factories and blast furnaces rose, and workers formed an unfamiliar kind of settlements. Black dust and thick air were part of everyday life in the region, and gave it the reputation of a polluted area, which was perfectly understandable at that time. Decades after the end of the industrial boom, there are only little traces of this image left. On the contrary, nature has reconquered what men once occupied in many places.

A unique natural landscape features dense, green forests and wild, former open-pit mines and natural areas. In contrast, there are developing and dynamic cities, a steadily growing, young and active population, a vibrant diversity in urban space. This fluid combination of these contrasting features has been recognized as worthy of protection both nationally and internationally, giving the RedRockRegion an image of an emerging, modern region that has remained down-to-earth and surprisingly close to nature.

Minett Tour
Former mining sites, converted industrial hubs, and plenty of history and nature - all just a stone's throw away. In between this, modernity shines and innovation is the focus of urban development. The Minett Tour bears witness to this evolution. An approximately 35-kilometer route through the region provides insights into the past and the future through the different thematic focuses of the sites. Whether aboard a steam train, on a relaxing walk in the nature reserves, underground with a mining train or high up on a blast furnace - the individual stations of the Minett Tour let you experience first-hand how humans and industry harmonise.


ERIH Anchor Points

Rumelange | Luxembourg
Helmets on, enter the mine train and off it goes into the mountain, 580 metres deep. An extensive network of tracks covering main and secondary galleries indicates how busy the iron ore mines of Rumelange must have been back then. Monumental machines illustrate post World War II mining operations ...

National Museum of Iron Ore Mines
Musée National des Mines de Fer Luxembourgeoises
Carreau de la Mine Walert
3714 Rumelange, Luxembourg

Member Sites ERIH Association

Dudelange | Luxembourg
The Document Centre for Human Migrations (CDMH) has a particular interest in the heritage associated with migration and highlights this aspect by presenting it through specific itineraries.Established in 1996, the centre located in the Gare-Usines station that serves the “Italie” district in ...

Document Centre for Human Migrations
Centre de Documentation sur les Migrations humaines (CDMH)
3481 Dudelange, Luxembourg

Esch-sur-Alzette | Luxembourg
The southern part of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg from the 1860s became one of the principal sources of iron ore in Europe, and because the government dictated that ore could only be mined by companies who smelted it within the Duchy, some large furnace complexes were built in the region. One was ...

Belval Blast Furnaces
Le Fons Belval
6 avenue des Hauts Fourneaux
4362 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

Esch-sur-Alzette | Luxembourg
The restored colliery site of the Katzenberg Mine with the museum of the Cockerill Mine, the adjacent nature reserve and the Nature Conservation Centre Ellergronn is a particular jewel with a very rich history. The Katzenberg mine dates back to 1881. After its closure in 1967, the facilities began ...

Museum of the Cockerill Mine
Musée de la Mine Cockerill
Rue Jean-Pierre Bausch
4114 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

Niederkorn | Luxembourg
At first sight the “vallée de la Chiers” looks peaceful, even abandoned. But then an old steam locomotive chugs into sight moving towards a small station. Fond-de-Gras is the name of this hidden-away place. It is situated in the heart of the Luxemburg ore basin. Not so long ago the area was full of ...

Minett Park Fond-de-Gras
2, Fond-de-Gras
4576 Niederkorn, Luxembourg