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The changing face of the Grund
Luxembourg

The changing face of the Grund

14.08.2015 From our online archive
In a city of constant change and rebirth, it may seem incredible that a central district like the Grund has remained relatively unchanged as these photos suggest.

In a city of constant change and rebirth, it may seem incredible that a central district like the Grund has remained relatively unchanged as these photos suggest.

Giving opposing views of the Alzette river in the Grund seen from the bridge crossing from rue St Ulric to rue Munster today and 50 years ago, one sees virtually the same buildings in 2015, no doubt after some considerable restoration.

Today, the area is popular for socialising, boasting a number of bars as well as tourist attractions including the Natur Museum, Abbey and fortication ruins.

As one of the oldest areas in the capital, the streets lining the Alzette in these photos have a fascinating history, which stretches back long before the invention of photography.

Rue St Ulric was once the main access road to the fortress city from Thionville.

It contained numerous shops and was one of the busiest streets in old Luxembourg. Historians suggest that it was first settled by Frankish people, who created a parish there.

It is also thought that the first Jewish quarter was established in this street at the end of the Fourteenth Century. The same street was also home to the town's oldest tavern.

In 1671, more than 50 houses in the street were razed and replaced by a garrison baker, which continued to operate until 1807. From 1807 to 1809, a prison was constructed, which later become a young offenders' centre from 1891 to 1941.

The area fell out of when a bridge was constructed over the valley and with the introduction of the railway, fewer people passed this way.

Many of the buildings fell into disrepair and it became known as a relatively poor district for many years until its recent renaissance. It is perhaps thanks to this fall from favour that many of these old buildings survive today.

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