German Journal Industriekultur 3.22: ERIH Regional Route Luxembourg / Grand Hornu World Heritage Site, Belgium
In the magazine's 100th issue, ERIH invites readers to folllow the Minett tour across Luxembourg's mining and steelmaking district. The Regional Route features a number of ERIH sites including the Belval Blast Furnaces in Esch-sur-Alzette, where the ERIH Annual Conference will be opened in a few days. A side trip goes to Boussu in Belgium, heading for the ERIH Anchor Point and World Heritage Site Grand Hornu, a true gem of European industrial heritage.
Minette, the lingo of French miners for the bright red iron ores in Lorraine and Luxembourg, have lent their name to "De Minett" industrial landscape in the very south of the Grand Duchy. This is where the heart of Luxembourg's coal and steel industry throbbed for decades, making the small country in the early 20th century one of the world's ten largest producers of pig iron and iron ore and, in 1951, one of the six founding nations of the European Coal and Steel Community.
This era is still commemorated today – thanks to extensive voluntary work – by numerous industrial monuments, which can be explored on the 35 kilometre Minett Tour. In its current issue, the magazine highlights the most important heritage sites. They include - in addition to the previously state-of-the-art Belval steelworks - the Fond-de-Gras industrial and railway complex. Its idyllic setting stands for another attraction of the Luxembourg mining and steelmaking district: the coexistence of industrial heritage and nature worth protecting.
Highlight of the ERIH Anchor Point National Museum of Iron Ore Mines in the small town of Rumelange, bordering neighbouring mining regions of Lorraine and Saarland, is the exciting ride on the mine train that leads 580 metres into the mountain. For almost 150 years, from 1824 to 1964, miners from all over the world dug for iron ore here. Until today, Luxembourg benefits from the multiple cultural impact of its mixed industrial workforce - a diversity to which the Document Centre for Human Migrations in Dudelange is a living testimony.
How to increase the productivity of workers not only by using modern machinery, but also thanks to social commitment, is illustrated by an industrial plant that, in the 19th century, ranked among the largest coal mines in neighbouring Belgium: Grand Hornu, whose vast English garden city-style workers' estate and monumental neoclassical architecture have been rightly inscribed on Unesco's World Heritage List since 2012.
By the way: The 100th edition of the Journal Industriekultur – congratulations to the editors! – is a reason for us to celebrate as well. Since 2005, ERIH has contributed four pages to every issue. That's a total of 284 pages and 182 articles in which we, respectively the author Frieder Bluhm, have presented 621 industrial heritage sites – Anchor Points, Regional Routes as well as sites with a special focus – as attractive travel destinations. We look forward to many more issues!
ERIH article in Industriekultur "Stahlharte Fakten im Land der roten Erde. Die Minett-Tour, Regionalroute in Südluxemburg"
ERIH article in Industriekultur "In Backstein gemauertes soziales Gewissen. Welterbe Zeche Grand Hornu in Boussu, Belgien"