Sculpture parks and trails
Life imitates art… so what could be better than a walk through a sculpture park or trail to absorb some artistic creations or see how art and nature can work as one.
This article lists a few of the outdoor sculpture parks and trails that Luxembourg has to offer, but almost every town has a war memorial, often adorned by the work of a sculptor, and many towns and villages have integrated sculpture into communal spaces, such as the hens in Bertrange, or the donkeys of Diekirch.
You can also check out the Grand Duchy’s art galleries for some more places to see sculpture.
Sculpture at Domaine Mondorf park
The park that forms part of the Domaine Thermal at Mondorf-les-Bains is designed for rest and contemplation. With this in mind, it is home to 21 sculptures from local artists, some internationally renowned.
Works include “My Dreamed Jazz Trio” by Arlon sculptor Catherine Lhoir, depicting two musicians with saxophones and a double bass, and a Corten steel sculpture of five detached elements by Nic Joosen, entitled “The Danse”. The spiral-shaped pieces, scattered, look like they are about to roll in all directions.
You’ll also find a tribute to Luxembourg’s own traditions, in the form of the late Wil Lofy’s famous bronze creation “Mim-Maus Kätti”, created in 1987 as a homage to the native Mondorf author Auguste Liesch and his fable about D’Maus Kätti (but more on Lofy later).
Some sculptures have been part of the park for over a century, including the “Lioness and cubs” by Arthur Artiomi Laverientivitch Aubert which was installed in 1905, and which effortlessly blends into the weathered rock it sits upon. Lucien Wercollier’s piece “Enfranchisement” was originally produced for the Brussels World Fair in 1958, standing solitarily between trees, whilst the mighty “Tulip” by Frantz Kinnen is juxtaposed amongst the pretty flower beds.
There are ceramic cherubs and an urn from Villeroy and Bosch, and if you detour to the inside, you’ll be able to admire one of August Tremont’s bronze panthers. There are also quite a few sculptures originally donated to the National Museum of Art and History now housed in Domaine Mondorf.
Esch sculpture trail
As part of Esch2022, Alex Reding, founder of the Nosbaum Reding Gallery, was tasked with setting up a sculpture trail through Esch-sur-Alzette to combine works of art and cultural institutions.
In total there are 23 works, under the title “Nothing is Permanent”, reflecting the underlying concept of Esch Remix, that the city is rising like a phoenix from its industrial heritage to become a cultural city of regeneration and inclusion.
The trail also pays tribute to local artist Michel Majerus who died 20 years ago, and whose painting “Newcomer” is on display. The sculptures are playful and contemplative putting a new context on art in an urban area, aiming to encourage the viewer to rediscover Esch from a different angle.
Erwin Wurm’s “Truck” sees a red truck unusually reversing up a building, taking an everyday object in its natural setting but displaying it in an irrational way. An uninteresting object has been shaped to make it more interesting, with a humorous twist.
Belgian, Guillaume Bijl is famed for his minutely recreated shopping environments, which he made in the mid-1970s to poke fun at consumer society. His sculpture “The Magician” shows the magic trick of levitation. In perfect keeping with Esch’s steel history, Bernar Venet’s sculpture “11 Uneven Acute Angles” is geometric, and sees bronze rods sprout from the ground, seemingly arranged randomly, but in fact giving a monumental impression.
The route starts at the square in front of the town hall, and loops past the Museum of Resistance, Ariston, Konschthal, Parc Laval and Schlassgoart and will be on display until mid-November. Each piece is marked with a QR code which gives more information about the work and the artist. You can download a map of the route which also lists the artists, here.
Whilst you are on the trail, visit the August Tremont sculpture exhibition at Galerie Schlassgoart. The artist is best remembered for his lions in front of City Hall but also guarding the Grand Ducal crypt in Cathedral Notre Dame. His work, and his journey from Luxembourg to Paris, are also part of Esch2022, and this exhibition retraces the artists travel from Dudelange when it was still a booming steel production town. Tremont’s sculptures are on display in a contemporary installation by Eric Schumacher.
Sculpture trail Lultzhausen
In 1999, six international sculptors were tasked with fashioning stones on-site, adapting them to the landscape around the Upper Sûre reservoir and lake. Their efforts line the path above the village of Lultzhausen, giving great views of the lake, on a themed 4km route, starting at the car park in the village.
German-born Georg Ahrens, commented at the time that the task deliberately brought nature and sculpture together. His work “The angel of the lake” is almost invisible at first, until you turn. The dimensions of the sculpture were chosen so that from a distance it appears almost to be floating, but up close it is imposing.
Dutch artist, Ton Kalle, created a triangular-shaped stone on three boulders. The stone depicts a prehistoric form, turned towards the future, a symbol that time passes in this landscape. Bertrand Ney’s sculpture, Jacob’s Ladder, tries to capture the spirit of the place. Located at the height of the trail, between the lake and surrounding hills, it illustrates the perpetual and dynamic movement of this space, always changing and uniting the land with the sky.
Female sculptor, Sybille von Halem, has created three sculptures along the pathway, using limestone and fossils. The first appears to reflect the sky, but on closer inspection it contains a fossil in resin allowing a play of shadows. The second, contains fossils of flowers, whilst the last, near a cherry tree, looks almost like a stone beehive, sheltering resin discs, again highlighting the nature park Haute Sûre’s ambition to create a synergy between man and nature.
The sculpture trail forms part of “The Way of Peace” from Paris to Moscow.
Tony Neuman Park
You can take public transport to the Tony Neuman Park in Limpertsberg for some sculpture and rose gardens.
Amongst the sculptures on display, Easter Island was created by Shamai Haber, who emigrated from Poland to Luxembourg in 1935, and then on to Tel Aviv, before moving to Paris in 1949. Working with massive stone and concrete blocks, his most famous creation is the fountain “Le Creuset du temps” in Paris.
The work of Henri Laurens in his bronze sculpture “The Grand Musician”, is to a massive scale. The artist was influenced by Cubism and Rodin. There are also two works from local artist and activist Lucien Wercollier. His marble sculpture “L’envol”, in the southwest corner of the park, is surrounded by three benches. It represents a rocket and was created in the 1960s when space exploration had reached new heights. “Eternally Feminine” is a softer sculpture on a plinth. He also produced a bronze version.
Wercollier lived to be almost 100 years from 1908 to 2002, and his grave (marked with one of his sculptures) is at the Notre Dame Cemetery near to the park. An exhibition of his works is on permanent display at the Neimënster Cultural Centre, which served as a prison during Nazi occupation, in which Wercollier was interned.
Heentze or Heintz Park (area closed for renovation)
Heentze Park, is held in private hands. Located in Hollerich, it covers just one hectare, and is named after Joseph Heintz, an industrialist of Luxembourg City. The sculpture park was created by architect Theirry Germe and Belgian sculptor Pierre Culot, together with landscape gardener Christophe Spéphar, and opened in 2000.
It contains several sculptures, but the site is currently under renovation and not open to the public except via special guided tours (and there are none planned at the moment).
Fonds de Kirchberg
The Fonds de Kirchberg has been incorporating art into public spaces in the district since the beginning of the 1990s. This includes Magdalena Jetelova’s monumental “Stuhl”, an oversized chair made from solid wood, contrasting to the architecture around it.
Trophy by Wim Delvoye, shows two stags fighting, and is an allusion to hunting, still widely practised in Luxembourg. “Bird cage” is by Luxembourg artist Su-Mei-Tse, who won the Golden Lion prize at the 2003 Venice Biennale for her neon work “(E:R) conditionée” and who also created the fountain "Many Words Spoken", at the MUDAM gallery. The oversized birdcage is made from neon tubes that are lit at night, and refers to the creator’s Chinese origins and the desire to take flight.
Probably the most famous (or most photographed) is Swedish sculptor Carl Fredrick Reuterswärd’s “Non-violence”. The original knotted barrel revolver was donated by Luxembourg to the UN and currently stands in the piazza of the organisation in New York, but there is a copy on display in Kirchberg.
In 2016, the work Dendrite, by Canadian artist Michel de Broin, was installed in the central park, and is visible from afar. It was designed to get more visitors to the labyrinth where it’s installed. A yellow piece of metal with three arms, almost like a flower, it invites passersby to walk through it, or climb the three staircase arms, for a better view.
Wil Lofy’s Luxembourg
Across Luxembourg you can catch the iconic work of local sculptor Wil Lofy, who was born in Esch-sur-Alzette and died last year. His creations are steeped in the country’s history, created from metal, concrete, marble and wood.
Perhaps most famous, is his city-located fountain dedicated to the Hämmelsmarsch, with his trademark humour (one musician is raising his finger to you).
You’ll find another fountain in Remich dedicated to Bacchus the god of wine, and yet another in Diekirch, celebrating the town’s mascot, the donkey. In Grevenmacher you can spot Lofy’s statue of a fiddler, a homage to Mathias Schou, a well-known, visually-impaired minstrel from the region, and in Ettelbruck there is a harassed milk seller shooing a dog with a ladle, a symbol that the town was once the diary capital of the Grand Duchy.