In the neighbourhood: Walferdange
Located in the Alzette valley, surrounded by forests on both sides, Walferdange commune incorporates the parishes of Helmsange and Bereldange, and is home to more than 8,400 people. About half the population consists of foreign nationals from some 90 different countries.
A little background...
The origins of Walferdange date back to Celtic and Roman times and there are the remains of a Roman villa and an unusual Persian-style underground aqueduct (more in this later). The district grew slowly through the Middle Ages, under the patronage of three lordships had a population of about 600 people one hundred years ago. It became an autonomous municipality from Steinsel in 1850. From that date until 1879 and his death from measles, it was home to Prince Henri of the Netherlands, Governor of Luxembourg.
Prices are taken from the Housing Observatory, and listed on Wort Immo as the price per square metre:
Apartment (new) €11,862
Shopping & services
The Walferdange shopping centre is surprisingly uncrowded and has a Delhaize supermarket, a Fressnapf for pet supplies, and a large Schuh Center that stocks a good selection of children’s shoes. You’ll also find Esprit for clothes, the Baby Center stocking strollers, a perfume shop, budget shop Zeeman, an opticians and a hairdresser. You can find a full list of services here.
Just opposite the centre is Medi-Market, a large drugstore, and Ryanhair for low-cost haircuts. There’s a patisserie and cake shop, Josephine, which produces fantastic festive cakes for various celebrations throughout the year. On the Bereldange/Beggen borders you'll find a sizeable Catus supermarket and a HiFi for white goods, TVs and phones.
On rue de Diekirch, the lovely cosy café Chocolats du Coeur does wonderful hot chocolate and various cakes, plus it sells a selection of hand-made chocolates made by charity Ateliers du Tricentenaire. It has a book corner from Ernster too. Opposite is bakery/patisserie Christian Schumacher, which also sells artisanal chocolate, plus bread, cakes and patisseries. There’s also a pharmacy.
You’ll find high-end bathrooms and flooring at HomeCS, and more tiles, bathroom, lighting and storage design at New Bath (technically Steinsel but on the borders). If you need some scented candles for that new bathroom, check out Atelier Virginie which uses 100% natural scent and beeswax. For home furnishings try Tousalon, and for beds there’s Place de la Literie at 101 Route de Luxembourg. There’s also a blinds shop, Lemogne.
In Bereldange, you’ll find a car body shop, Car Life, an Auto Goedert, and two car dealers, Garage M Losch incorporating Skoda Auto. In Walferdange you’ll find Garage Werner Becht. If you prefer two wheels, then Bike World in Bereldange stocks Trek, Giant, Wilier and Moustache brands. There’s also a shop selling table tennis equipment and clothing.
There’s two hairdressers in Bereldange - Igorance and Salon de Coiffure Lee Loo, a Laboratoires Reunis for blood tests, plus another opticians, and Retouche Prestige, a quilt shop. If you like your wine from the south of France try this Sommelier, and if you’re planning on tying the knot, there’s a bridal boutique, Biancaneve.
Schools & creches
Eco Creche Canelle & Caramel is at 99 rue Prince Henri in Helmsange, close to the forests where they regularly take young children on outings. Closer to the train station you’ll find Creche Tiramisu and creche Au Pays des Merveilles, which takes babies from two months. There’s a maison relais in Helmsange which works with the local schools.
Walferdange produces a brochure on its nursery/primary schools (Fondamental cycles 1-4 up to age 12 years), and there are schools located at place de la Marie in Walferdange, rue de X Octobre in Bereldange, and rue des Pommiers in Helmsange. You can find more information on these schools and the teaching staff here.
Ecole Charlemagne at 28 rue de Diekirch was founded by parents for nursery and primary children, with a view to teaching classic methods with an onus on family. It uses the Sainte-Anne course in French and you can find more information here.
There are no secondary schools located in Walferdange commune but most older children attend either a classical or technical school in the City, Mersch, Limpertsberg or Merl/Hollerich. The University of Luxembourg has a campus in Walferdange.
There’s a music school offering lessons for children and adults in guitar, ukulele, bass, piano, drums and vocals which is currently offering discovery sessions. If dance is more your thing, Flamenco Luxembourg’s school gets rave reviews.
The commune also runs subsidised music courses and a ballet school that follows the Royal Academy of Dance. You can find more information on these here.
Transport & parking
Bus line 11 runs from Walferdange through Bereldange to the city then on to Bertrange finishing at the European School II. Bus line 26 goes from Walferdange to Kirchberg. Train line 10 links Walferdange to the city and northward to Mersch, Ettelbruck and Diekirch. It is also possible to connect with line 60 and travel to Belval’s university campus.
The Midnight bus runs from Luxembourg city via Clausen and Kirchberg to Steinsel, stopping at Bereldange, Walferdange and Helmsange. It operates from just after midnight with the last bus at 03.15 on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Walfy Flexibus runs across the municipality and is free. It runs from 07.00 to 19.00 from Monday to Friday and 09.00 to 19.00 on Saturday. To book it, call 8002 20 20.
There are charging stations for electric vehicles at the town hall square, near the Pidal centre, at the Biergercenter, near the sports hall and at Haus um Becheler. To use them residents should take a contract with one of the ten electricity suppliers in Luxembourg.
Books & Toys
Every year, the municipality hosts a big book fair Walfer Bicherdeeg, with readings and workshops. This year's will be from 19-20 November 2022. The blue and green Walfer Bicherschaf (bookshelf) next to the town hall is open from Monday to Saturday 08.00 to 20.00 and you can take a book, exchange one or drop off books in reasonable condition (no magazines). The Bicherbus is currently not running, but should it resume, you can find the dates and times it is in Walferdange here.
TABA is a CNDS operation which collects old toys which are then given for free in their shop or to those in need. Toys can be repaired. It employs people with psychological or addiction problems to help them back onto the labour market or ease into social integration.
Walferdange Castle was originally a stud farm created by William I of Orange. Abandoned in 1830 due to the Belgian Revolution, the castle was eventually refurbished by William II for his brother Henri, Duke of Luxembourg. Henri and his princess wife lived in the castle until he died in 1879 and she passed in 1872. The castle was again briefly inhabited as a second residence by Grand Duke Adolph, before becoming a school in 1930. Occupied by American troops at the end of the Second World War, thereafter it served as a barracks for the Luxembourg army until 1967 when it became an education and research institute. In 2003 it was incorporated into the University of Luxembourg.
A Roman villa was discovered in Sonnebierg in Helmsange in the 1990s. It includes some 50 different rooms on the ground floor, and was built in the 1st century, but transformed several times. Some 400 Roman coins dating back to 280 AD were found during excavations, in addition to numerous hairpins, several bronze rings and a sculpted bronze disk decorated with a lion’s head.
In the Helmsange forest, you'll find a series of shafts along a line at more or less regular intervals known as Raschpëtzer, a water collection system using Persian qanat techniques. The bases of each shaft are linked by a water channel, and each has a depth of 36 metres.
Most amazing, it still functions today to supply about 180 cubic metres of drinking water per day. You can read more about how water is collected and see what the layout of the shafts looks like at this website.
Gypsum mines used for plaster in the construction of buildings in the Roman era have also been discovered in Walferdange.
The church in Walferdange was built in the mid-19th century and has a classic façade decorated with two niches that house statues of Father Kolbe and Saint Therese of Lisieux. Inside, you’ll also find statues of Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis Xavier, whist the painting on the vault of the choir represents the holy trinity and dates back to the 1900s.
Sports & Parks
The Pidal swimming and spa centre at rue des Prés in Helmsange has a beginners pool, an outdoor baby pool and a main pool which is used for inflatable water fun in the summer holidays. The centre also runs swimming and water sport courses. The spa includes a sauna and a salt-water pool, and you can book massages or beauty treatments. There’s also an on-site restaurant serving up healthy meals (currently closed due to restrictions).
The Prince Henri Omnisport’s centre has three halls and access for disabled people. It incorporates a 200 m² climbing wall, a weights room, and an archery hall. Outside are two football fields, one which is bordered by a jogging track, and seven tennis courts, plus there’s a children’s playpark at the back of the hall.
If you are trying to lose weight or improve your fitness levels, then you’ll find Marcus Neal Fitness for personal training on rue des Romains, and there’s a Basic Fit gym in Bereldange.
FC Residence Walferdange has been playing football since 1908, and has a women’s team, and teams for under 17s, under 15s and under 13s. It runs fitness camps and training programmes. The Fine Arrow Walfer archery club was founded in 1970 and regularly hosts tournaments.
There are basketball, badminton, karate and running clubs, plus mountain bike Walfer asbl, and the Optimists Cricket Club. RSR Walfer is the local volleyball club, whilst the tennis club is located in Bereldange on the banks of the Alzette.
De Renert is the rugby club which has women’s and men’s teams plus runs a rugby school for children. You can also become a 21st century samurai, learning Japanese martial art Yoseikan Budo at the Omnisport’s hall. There are several gymnastic courses too, from Bodyshape to gymnastic dance for seniors.
Yogabalance has a studio in Walferdange near the shopping centre, and is holding classes in-studio and online.
There’s a playground in Helmsange at rue des Nations Unies which also has a swing for wheelchair users. There’s a synthetic football pitch in Helmsange too, and next to it you’ll find outdoor gym equipment that is free to use. The nearest public playgrounds are in Beggen or Steinsel.
The commune has two dog parks designed to allow dogs to meet, exercise and move freely, one in Bereldange and the other in Helmsange near the tennis club car park. Both are equipped with benches, dog waste bags and bins, and are accessed via a corridor to prevent dogs from being able to escape.
Walking and cycling
Cycle path 15 starts in Bereldange and travels along the banks of the River Alzette to Ettelbruck some 31km away, passing the Grand Ducal residence in Colmar-Berg.
A 10.3 km blue circular walk starts at the forest car park in Helmsange, following the Alzette national trail south. A shorter 3.6km walk Reimerpad (Roman walk) links the major archaeological sites in the Sonnebierg nature reserve, and you can print a brochure (in German or French only) with details of the walk and the sites here.
A 6.4 km loop trail in Bereldange features a small lake and is good for walking and running, but dogs must be kept on a leash.
Restaurants and cafes
For haute cuisine, try Hostellerie Stafelter which serves roast beef with mustard and tarragon sauce, Scottish salmon, foie gras, rounded off with pavlova and cheesecake. You can even stay the night and have dinner and breakfast.
For something oriental try Restaurant Osier which has crab and tofu soup, langoustines in lemongrass, Thai salad with beef fillet and a selection of sushi, temaki and sashimi. Restaurant Chez Zhang also has Thai and Chinese specialities and sushi, whilst Le Regent offers Won Ton soup, dim sum and a popular lunch buffet. There’s yet more Asian cuisine at Kudasai.
For Italian, Restaurant Lo-sfizio gets the thumbs up for a long menu incorporating pasta, risotto, pizza and a good selection of meat and fish dishes, ditto for La Riviera and Dolce Italia. For pasta and pizza, Bereler Stuff also has a huge variety of dishes, and customers rave about the pizza, tiramisu and service at La Ciociara at 15 route de Diekirch.
The simple Zaid Grill has endless comments about its superb cleanliness, and reviewers rave about the bôrek and fries and Turkish speciality snacks and desserts. Food truck Lio’s burgers rustles up tasty beef patties and veggie versions.
For coffee or breakfast try Chocolats du Coeur mentioned earlier, or Café da Mota which has a selection of Portuguese dishes served on their terrace. Café de la Gare has a bowling alley and darts area, coffee and beers, plus a daily selection of dishes. You can also grab a coffee and get a guitar lesson or watch a live act at The Spirit of Music.