Bock Casemates & Chemin de la Corniche (Luxembourg)

As I mentioned in the last post, the whole of Luxembourg city is on a small rock in front of a big rock. When the original fortification was built, it was mix of being built over the rock as well as excavated into the rock. It was not only built by Count Sigefroy, the founder of the city, but was expanded in course of time by Italians, Spanish, Belgian, French, Austrian, Dutch and Prussians. 

The casemates were first built in 1644 when the city was under the Spanish. In course of time it was an expansive 23km of underground galleries. Today, after portions of it were destroyed as a part of Treaty of Vienna, some parts of the casemates could not be demolished, as.... you know,the city is actually sitting on top of the casemates!!! 
Today, 17km of the original casemates, in 2 levels, still remain intact and are available for us to explore through them. First of all what does Casemate mean? It comes from the Greek work Chasma(ta) which is a bomb-proof vaulted room.

The upper level is called the Archaeological crypt. Research here has revealed that they place has been in use since 10th C CE under Count Sigefroy. This place showcases a simple overview of the evolution of the castle and the rulers and important people of Luxembourg including Hungary's  Emperor Charles!

Below this, accessible by a staircase are the casemates. This is just incredible! The views from each and every gallery is just so unique and so impeccable! Most of these galleries are fitted with cannons. Originally the space could fit in 50 cannons and 1200 soldiers. And originally, the windows of these galleries were small enough to just fit the mouth of the cannons. However today, the windows have been opened up to provide the visitors with an impeccable view of the city from various angles!

One of these rooms even have a 47m deep well! A small legend here is that the wife of Count Sigefroy, Melusine always wanted a particular day & night off every week. One fine day, out of curiosity, when he followed her, he found her in the bath (this very room) and found that she had a fishtail (yeah, she's a mermaid (or so is the legend)!!!). Once she spotted him, she vanished into the river Alzette forever!!!

Finally, coming out of the labyrinths, you're standing right beneath the main road on the Castle Bridge made by the Austrians in 1735 and below you is another road! Again Luxembourg being Luxembourg in multiple altitudes, as I mentioned in the last post.

Just outside of this is the Chemin de la Corniche, which is called the most beautiful balcony of Europe! It can also be accessed from the other side via a staircase, located a short walk from the elevator! Again, that's Luxembourg in its multiple altitudes. 


The view from here is indeed exquisite with the Passerelle on one side and close to it are some vegetation, followed by Neumunster Abbey and the fortification around it that form arched bridges on river Moselle and then the high walls along the plateau that come all the way up to the Chemin de la Corniche.............. No, I do complete injustice in trying to explain the view in words and photographs................. It needs to be seen and felt, being there with the wind blowing on your face!!! Its just breathtaking!!!

Here's a tip: Do keep in mind that these 2 are included in the Wenzel Walking Tour. So you may want to skip doing this on your own, if you're booking the tour.
Here's another tip: Wear good shoes in Bock Casemates. The ground is not even and some places are slippery if it rains (you know, its a labyrinth dug out of a hill). This is not wheelchair or stroller friendly.

To Stay:
Hotels and B&Bs are available at all price points, all over the city. 
Here's my review of Novotel Luxembourg Centre where I stayed.
Do keep in mind that Luxembourg is costlier than most European cities. So, very cheap accommodation is almost unavailable. For eg., Ibis Budget in Paris is around €45 while here its €60!

Entry Tickets & Timings:

Bock Casemates: €7, 10:00AM to 5:30/8:30PM in winter & summer respectively. Closed from 4th Nov to 28th Feb every year.
Chemin de la Corniche: Free & open 24 x 7

To Get There:
Both the sites are walkable from Luxembourg Central. Ofcourse, an mentioned earlier, there are elevators. The city is also well connected by buses and tram.
Guided/Self-guided tours: Wenzel Walking Tour (the map of the walking tour is downloadable). It is a ticketed tour but the price also includes entry to Bock casemates.
On Google Maps: Chemin de la CornicheBock Casemates

P.S: I was invited by Luxembourg Tourism to experience the city for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

14 comments:

  1. The casemates are fascinating. No wonder Luxembourg could remain a city-state for so long. It has nearly perfect fortification. I love the idea of wandering old tunnels and emerging into extraordinary scenes.

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  2. This is a wonderful place to explore. Good thing the labyrinth isn't that complicated :)
    Does your little angel enjoy his trip too?

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  3. These casemates are amazing! I love also love the view from the Chemin de la Corniche!!! ❤ I hope I can visit someday.

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  4. Jane Dempster-SmithApril 21, 2019 at 3:51 PM

    Thank you for enlightening me on what casemates are and their history in Luxembourg. Amazing. I love legends and the legend of Melusine was very interesting. The views are stunning from the Chemin de La Corniche. I have to remember that Luxembourg is more expensive that other places in Europe and allow for it when I visit.

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  5. You really like exploring these old structures as I have felt after following your blog. Bock Casemates looks like an underground structure but the view from the top is really wonderful. Also a good thing that there is a walking tour that covers this spot. A better way to learn about its history in a better way.

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  6. This is a really interesting place to explore. I haven't yet been to Luxembourg, but these casemates are worth visiting. The history behind them is incredible too. One place to keep on the list for sure.

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  7. Amazing! An underground city? I do hope that the government takes care of such historical/cultural treasure. Too many historical/cultural treasures in the world has been decimated by vandals and pollution.

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  8. This is a great history lesson of Luxembourg. I haven't visited yet but you made it sound so interesting - definitely one for the list.

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  9. Wow, the Bock Casemates look absolutely fascinating! I always loved the idea of these mysterious, underground cities. I would definitely love to visit someday!

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  10. Luxembourg, the name itself sounds so nice and exquisite. The Bock Casemates and the Chemin de la Corniche surely live up to the expectations from Luxembourg. WOuld love to visit the Bock Casemates. looks so intriguing. The view from Chemin de la Corniche is so spectacular too, no wonder it is regarded as the world's best balcony.

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  11. A truly unique place and underground city. I would be happy to visit it one day and learn it's history. You show us virtually how wonderful to visit Luxembourg.

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  12. I like to read your posts, always so detailed. :) I was in love with Luxembourg, such a small country but a lot of history. And Novotel in Luxembourg is highly recommended.

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  13. I have never visited casemates but it would be interesting to see all those underground galleries. I never knew that Luxembourg is built of casemates before reading your post. The views from galleries are really incredible. Thanks for sharing wonderful post.

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  14. Is that you and your dtr., Bhushavali?

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